The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has announced a 24×7 helpline called ‘Madadgaar’ (The Helpful) with the number 14411 exclusively for citizens of Kashmir.
The helpline will be on issues like public safety, public utility, medical assistance, Pilgrimage and tourist assistance, natural calamities and recruitment and sports activities.
A brainchild of CRPF IG Zulfikar Hassan, the helpline’s control room will be manned by a team of 20 personnel. It will be disseminating information and SOS help.
Zulfikar told India Today: “We are one of the largest forces on ground with 47 battalions in the state. During our long deployment here, we have often heard common man’s grievances. This is where we feel we can provide help. If there is a medical assistance, a car break down, or any other assistance we will provide aid.”
At a time when there is an increased sense of alienation CRPF says that in the long-run the forces should not be conceived as villains of peace, perpetrators of violence and justice but as well-wishers of the people of Kashmir.
The helpline will be thrown open after an official inauguration by Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra where the DG CRPF and other senior officers will be present. Before the inauguration, CRPF has made 6 catchy jingles doing the rounds of radio, reaching out to people.
This will provide assistance to citizens from the state venturing to other states of India as well. The inauguration of the helpline has come days ahead of the crucial Amarnath Yatra which begins on June 29.
This even as the force deals with spate of terror attacks in south Kashmir. While the force admits there is a danger that militants may use the helpline to ambush the CRPF. But the force feels they are doing a noble cause and are prepared for any eventuality.
CRPF in Kashmir Valley is looking for an image changeover. The force which has been accused of use of excessive force against civilians including use of pellet guns as means of crowd control management in the Valley. On the other end, the force has faced hostile crowds and stone-pelting during law and order and even during encounter.