Trekker Babu airlifted, admitted to Palakkad district hospital

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Palakkad: A special helicopter airlifted Babu, the 23-year-old youth who got trapped at Cheradu hills on Monday and was rescued by the army men on Wednesday. According to reports, he is admitted to Palakkad district hospital.

The helicopter landed at Kanjikode helipad. From here, Babu was rushed to the district hospital. The doctors are currently monitoring his health condition. It is reported that he is stable.

The helicopter was taken from Sulur to hospitalize Babu immediately. If no health problems are diagnosed, he will be discharged soon.

The youth was hauled up to safety by 09.58 am on Wednesday by the Army personnel and successfully completed the massive rescue effort, perhaps the first of its kind in the state, which also involved local bodies, NDRF, Coast Guard with Air Force also standing by to chip in.

After being hauled up to safety, visuals released by the Army showed a happy and relieved Babu sitting in the middle of his rescuers and kissing them on their cheeks as thanks for saving his life.

"Very thanks to the Indian Army," he said and also thanked the army personnel who rescued him.

Thereafter, all of them shouted, "Indian army ki jai" and "Bharat mata ki jai".

Following the rescue, political leaders took to social media to congratulate the Army and its rescue team for bringing the youth to safety.

"Worries have been put to rest as the young man trapped in the Cheradu hill in Malampuzha has been rescued.

The treatment & care needed to regain his health will be provided now. Thanks to the soldiers who led the rescue operation and everyone who provided timely support," Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan tweeted.

The Chief Minister's Office (CMO) also issued a statement saying that the treatment and care needed by the youth to regain his health will be provided as soon as possible.

"We would like to thank all those who assisted in the rescue operation, including the soldiers of the Madras Regiment of the Indian Army, the soldiers of the Para Regiment Center and the South Indian Area GOC Lieutenant General Arun, who coordinated the rescue operation," the CMO statement said.

Pinarayi Vijayan, on Tuesday, had sought the help of the Army after efforts by the local authorities and the Coast Guard to rescue the youth were unsuccessful due to the mountain terrain and weather conditions.

Subsequently, the Southern Command had informed the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) that a specialised team will be starting from Bengaluru soon and would be arriving at Palakkad by road.

Besides Vijayan, Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly V D Satheesan also congratulated the Army's rescue team for rescuing the youth.

In a statement, Satheesan congratulated the rescue team of the Army and everyone else who participated in the efforts to save the youth and said that it was a "historic" mission.

The opposition leader also said that the incident highlighted the shortcomings in the state's disaster response mechanism, which have been pointed out earlier too, and called for rapid modernisation of the same.

Babu was trapped in a recess on the mountain face, between rocks, in the scorching heat with no water or food since Monday.

According to locals, the youth, along with two others had on Monday decided to climb to the top of Cheradu hill there, but the other two abandoned the effort halfway.

However, Babu continued to climb to the top, and after reaching there, slipped and fell and got trapped between rocks on the mountain face.

(with added inputs from PTI)

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