Confetti

Despite anger among few locals, Kashmiris hail relief effort by army, NDRF

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Picture1While there have been few minor skirmishes between flood affected residents and rescue teams in Srinagar in the past days but majority of the workers, and even those who have been put up in relief camps assert that it would be wrong to paint the picture entirely in black. A large majority of Srinagar residents, and people who have been put up in relief camps have nothing but appreciation for the security men who have risked their lives to protect those who have been caught in what is being described as the worst flood of the century in the valley.

Nadeem, a Srinagar resident putting up in a relief camp says that had army not helped it would have been tough for him and his family to survive in the present conditions. There was neither food available for people, nor enough warm clothes to survive the dark nights which followed the flooding, he adds. The people however say that what has made them angry is the absence of the local government which should have been up and running in the present time. Danish, a resident who lives in downtown Srinagar but could not return to his family says that he has been stuck for the past few days but none from the local government could help him, and it was a team of NDRF which took him to a relief camp.

In his opinion the security forces are doing an extraordinary work, and he says that there is no doubt people will be angry but they are also thankful to the government of India for taking prompt action. The locals are also happy with the manner in which PM Modi took the lead, and visited Kashmir valley thus prompting quick action from the central government, and other related agencies. Dinesh, a tourist caught in the flood says that majority of the people he interacted with during his stay at the camp have been appreciative of the role the security forces have been playing. However, the long duration of the water-logging, fear of more rains, and breakdown of communication network in Valley is something the people are not taking lightly. The failure of the local governance, absence of local politicians and government functionaries, and their inability to provide succour has led to incidents of stone pelting and refusal to accept relief material, assert many. The army officials meanwhile maintain that they would take every step to help till the last man is rescued, and they are also ready to assuage the feelings of the hurt populace which is feeling dejected in the face of this massive tragedy.

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While speculation is rife whether separatists are behind these incidents but the government has said that it was only concerned about ensuring relief. Home Minister Rajnath Singh today said that we have shut our eyes and the only goal now is to provide relief and rescue to those stranded on account of floods. The people in Kashmir meanwhile agree that primary objective of the forces, and those caught in this difficult situation should be to facilitate relief and not to create obstacles. The separatists if they are trying to fan tension, and spreading unrest are doing a disservice to the people of Kashmir, and they must understand that if they cant help the people, they should at least ensure that this relief work is not hampered, says Nadir, a local resident. There is also a strong demand that if anyone is found caught in instigating the locals, then he should be dealt with sternly as the relief operations are likely to continue for weeks, and on them depends the lives of thousands. The locals in unison assert that majority of the population in Kashmir is appreciative of the efforts being made by the security forces, and they want the good work to continue.

sunil kumar