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Army in J&K turns savior

Army in J&K turns savior
Highlights

Army in J&K Turns Savior. The men and women in olive green and their counterparts in the Indian Air Force, Indian Navy and National Disaster Response Force, who have never had a very healthy relationship with the people of Kashmir Valley, are putting their lives in danger while trying to rescue and provide relief to the flood-hit residents of Jammu and Kashmir.

  • Jawans win the praise of flood-hit Kashmiris
  • Army vehicles pelted with stones in Srinagar
  • 80,000 people have been rescued in tireless effort
  • Communication now the biggest challenge: Army

New Delhi: The men and women in olive green and their counterparts in the Indian Air Force, Indian Navy and National Disaster Response Force, who have never had a very healthy relationship with the people of Kashmir Valley, are putting their lives in danger while trying to rescue and provide relief to the flood-hit residents of Jammu and Kashmir.

Despite being the target of terrorists, separatists and always viewed with suspicion by the local populace, the Indian Army launched the relief and rescue efforts on a war footing and have come as a saviour to the people. "We have been rescued by the Indian Army. They are doing a great job." It was unthinkable just a week ago. Forget the Pakistanis, not even the Kashmiris would have praised Indian Army just a week back, said an army official.

On Wednesday evening, Army vehicles were also pelted with stones as they tried to make their way through the city, loaded with supplies including water and food. In the morning, four Air Force helicopters carrying supplies could not land at the helipad at the Governor's residence after threats of stoning.

"Aggressive crowds mean we are facing difficulties in rescue work," said OP Singh, the chief of the National Disaster Relief Force or NDRF, which, with the armed forces, has so far rescued nearly 80,000 people in an expansive and tireless effort. Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag, reiterated, "We understand people can be upset. The army will remain on the job till the last man is rescued." Suhag has said communication and connectivity is now the biggest challenge CM Omar Abdullah said, "I understand the anger but it is not true that nothing is happening... this situation is unprecedented." He announced 6 months free ration for people in most affected areas

PM Narendra Modi directed officials to provide total support to the Jammu and Kashmir government to enable it ramp-up rescue and relief operations following massive floods in the state and he stressed on the need to quickly reach essential commodities to the affected people. Chairing a high-level emergency meeting to review relief operations, Modi emphasised that immediate attention be given to providing basic necessities like food and water to people affected by the calamity.

Dramatic air rescue

Mrs Pradhan smiled in relief as she settled in an IAF helicopter after being winched up. Minutes earlier she dangled on the wire rope as her anxious children looked down from the chopper. The four-member Pradhan family was rescued in one of the countless sorties that the IAF and the Army have made to evacuate people out of flood-hit Srinagar. Mrs Pradhan said they had been stranded for four days. She thanked the soldiers who rescued her family .

Russians show the way

Showing courage in times of adversity, two Russian women trapped in flood waters in the city of Srinagar in flood-ravaged Jammu and Kashmir refused to be evacuated till those ailing were brought out first.

The Army and IAF reached out to them after they got a distress call, an Army officer said. When they were approached for evacuation, the duo refused to come out saying there were people who were ill and they should be moved out first, he said.

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