As many as 538 people, including 319 GATE aspirants, were airlifted in separate sorties by the Indian Air Force (IAF) between the twin capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar, a defence spokesman said on Saturday.
The IAF launched the special sorties of C17 Globemaster and came into assistance of GATE aspirants, the locals and tourists who were stuck in the twin capitals due to the closure of Jammu-Srinagar national highway, the only all weather road linking Kashmir with the rest of the country owing to the recent heavy snowfall, he said.
He said a total of 319 students appearing in Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) on February 10 onwards were airlifted from Srinagar airport to Jammu airport on Friday and Saturday.
While 179 students were airlifted from Srinagar to Jammu, 180 civilians struck in Jammu were airlifted to Srinagar on Friday, the spokesman said.
Similarly, he said 179 persons comprising of 140 students and 39 locals and tourists were airlifted to Srinagar to Jammu on Saturday.
"The students were specially relieved by this humanitarian concern of the armed forces and conveyed their special thanks to them for this timely effort which in long way will shape up their career in times to come," the spokesman said.
He said civilians and stranded tourists were also very appreciative and thankful of the humanitarian activities of the armed forces along with guarding the frontiers at all times.