Lack of relief fuels anger in J&K

A volunteer delivers relief material to a flood victim in Srinagar on Saturday. Photo: Nissar Ahmad

A volunteer delivers relief material to a flood victim in Srinagar on Saturday. Photo: Nissar Ahmad  

Most hospitals in Srinagar are still non-functional

With the State government confirming the death of 14 children at G.B. Pant Hospital here on Saturday and the authorities still struggling with rescue-and-relief operations, anger is growing among the flood-affected people of Jammu and Kashmir.

While thousands of people are thankful to the Army for their rescue, many people here say the rescue operations have been selective, with tourists and their own people given priority.

The Army said their boats and helicopters were pelted with stones at many places.

Hospitals not functional

Most city hospitals are still not functional and the number of sick is rising.

With hundreds of animal carcasses floating in the stagnant floodwaters, the fear of an epidemic is rising.

Financial losses have run into crores as business establishments have been flooded and hundreds of houses have caved in.

“We have already lost our homes and if anything happens to our family members who are still missing after a week, we will take to the streets not as refugees but as protesters,” said a person in the Sanat Nagar relief camp.

The rescue-and-relief operation being carried out by the armed forces and the positive media coverage of them appear to have fuelled anger among the people.

A section of people feel that the media, while portraying the Army and the Indian Air Force as saviours, has blown the incidents of stone-throwing at the armed forces out of proportion and shown the people as ungrateful.

“They [Air Force] airdrop a carton of baby milk but it becomes a package of national integration as soon as we take it,” Bilal Ahmad Lone of Batamaloo told The Hindu.

Mr. Lone said people “think twice about accepting relief from the Army, though our stocks are drying up.”

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Printable version | Jul 16, 2020 10:10:29 AM |

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