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Army steps in to help locals call up families outside Jammu & Kashmir

The state administration had earlier announced the setting up of 300 helplines which were made operational in various parts of Srinagar.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Aug 26, 2019, 10.17 AM IST
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In a statement, J&K administration tweeted, “Attempts should not be made by senior leaders to disturb the gradual restoration of normal life.
NEW DELHI/SRINAGAR: The Centre has pressed the Army to set up communication centres in Jammu and Kashmir after helplines to ease the communication blockade in the Valley failed to handle the large number of requests. The Union home ministry on Friday released a video of a communication centre at Sharifabad in Budgam where locals had gathered under a tin shed to await their turn to call up their families outside the state.

The state administration had earlier announced the setting up of 300 helplines which were made operational in various parts of Srinagar.

“Wherever possible, the Army will try to help the locals. They have been advised to take due precautions,” a senior home ministry official told ET, adding that the situation in Srinagar and the rest of the Valley remained mostly peaceful on Friday.

As per reports, more than 300 people had gathered after the Friday prayers at Soura, on the outskirts of Srinagar, but the crowds dispersed after shouting anti-government slogans.

Earlier in the day, restrictions in other parts of Srinagar were reimposed after posters issued by separatists came up, urging people to march to the local UN Military Observer Group office, officials said.

Barricades and concertina wires were erected at many places to prevent people from marching to Lal Chowk and Sonawar, where the UN office is located, the officials said, adding that the security forces had been deployed at many places to maintain law and order. Markets have been shut and mobile and internet services suspended since August 5, when the Centre had revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcated the state into two union territories -- Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

On Friday, district commissioner (Srinagar) Shahid Choudhary denied reports on shortage of medical stocks, “All concerns and worries are appreciated but we were not low on medical stocks even for a single day. No interruption in supplies. Still open to help individual cases, if any,” he tweeted.

The state administration further said that over 99% of the total allocation of rice for August has been dispatched and distributed in Srinagar.

J&K information wing in a tweet said, “Around 2300 patients were seen in OPDs and 60 patients admitted for treatment in IPDs of PHCs in Srinagar on August 23. Two major and 42 minor surgeries were also performed.

Medical tests of different kinds conducted at these institutions include a total of around 900.”

Meanwhile, a delegation of senior Opposition leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, Ghulam Nabi Azad, T Shiva (DMK), Sitaram Yechury, D Raja and representatives of Trinamool and RJD, will take a flight from Delhi to Srinagar on Saturday to assess the situation in the state.

In a statement, J&K administration tweeted, “Attempts should not be made by senior leaders to disturb the gradual restoration of normal life.

Leaders are requested to cooperate and not visit Srinagar as they would be putting other people to inconvenience.

They would also be violating restrictions that are still there in many areas. Senior leaders should understand that top priority would be given to maintaining peace, order and preventing loss of human lives.”
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