Rishikesh: Six foreigners were picked up on Sunday from a cave across the Ganga river in Rishikesh on the way to the famous Neelkanth temple and later quarantined in a ‘dharamshala’.

"The foreigners, including two women, were staying at a hotel in Muni Ki Reti area. They shifted to the cave after running out of money," a police official said.

"They have been identified as Oleh Sandetski and Oksana Kravchuk from Ukraine who came to India on December 7. Other members of the group are Marve Turhan from Turkey, Michael Raffaele Falcone from the United States, Ladislas Lucas from France and Vishnu Giri from Nepal," he said.

The foreign nationals moved into the cave on March 24, the day a countrywide lockdown was imposed to contain the spread of novel coronavirus pandemic.

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“These foreigners are from Ukraine, Turkey, the US, France and Nepal. They were staying at a hotel in Muni Ki Reti area here on rent till March 24 when the countrywide lockdown was imposed,” inspector in-charge of Lakshman Jhoola police station, RS Kathait said.

They were picked up from the cave following a tip-off that some foreigners seemed to be residing in a cave about one km from a place called Dobata en route to the Neelkanth temple.

A police team rushed to the cave and the foreign nationals were picked up, the official said.

They were sanitised and quarantined at a dharmashala run by the Sawargashram Trust, police added.