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Helicopter used to recover body of Indian climber missing in Cameron Highlands

Indian tourist Nandan Suresh Nadkarni, an actuary attending a conference in Kuala Lumpur, had left his hotel to hike up Gunung Jasar in Tanah Rata, on Sept 22. (Facebook pic)

CAMERON HIGHLANDS: The body of Indian national Nandan Suresh Nadkarni, 44, who went missing on Sept 22 while climbing Gunung Jasar here, was brought down at 11.20am today.

Pahang police chief Yahaya Othman said the victim’s body was airlifted by a helicopter from the Ipoh Air Operation Force after efforts to retrieve the body by a land route failed due to the difficult terrain.

“We found the victim’s body at 3.40pm yesterday at a stream near Pos Atap. It was about 6km from the control post at the foothill of Gunung Jasar.

“Police investigation found that in his descent from the peak of Gunung Jasar, the victim had deviated from the original path, causing him to lose his way in the jungle and enter the border into Perak,” he said in a media conference today.

Earlier, a massive search and rescue operation (SAR) was activated after Suresh, an actuary, failed to return to his hotel.

Closed-circuit television footage showed him leaving the hotel alone for Trail 10 of Gunung Jasar at about 9am on Sept 22.

The SAR operation involved 101 officers and personnel of various agencies, including the fire and rescue department, the Civil Defence Force, Cameron Highlands mountain guides and the Radio Communication and Recreation Club.

Yahaya said the body had been handed over to Sultanah Hajjah Kalsom Hospital here for a post-mortem.

He said Suresh’s friend, who had been here since the SAR was launched, had been informed to identify the body.

Suresh had informed his friend that he was climbing Gunung Jasar but he did not return to the hotel or check out, he said.

He said Suresh had checked into Hikers Sleep Port Guest House, Tanah Rata, on Sept 19 and was supposed to check out on Sept 24.

“He was to attend a conference in Kuala Lumpur on Sept 25 and had decided to visit Cameron Highlands earlier for the climb.

“His personal items, such as passport, laptop, wallet and clothes, were still in the room. He had checked in alone,” he said.