Security forces hard-hit by kashmir floods

RSTV Bureau

flood-jammuWhen calamity strikes, it does not discriminate. This was on ample display when floods ravaged Kashmir.

Along with civilian population, security forces deployed in Jammu and Kashmir from various parts of the country were also hit badly. They lost their belongings and their weapons were damaged or left useless after water entered their camps across the Kashmir Valley.

Hundreds of AK rifles, INSAS rifles and SLR rifles, along with their ammunition, are still submerged at various places across the Kashmir Valley, so are bombs, hand grenades etc.

“We got orders to leave everything and save our lives,” said one of them, explaining how weapons remained in the submerged building complex.

“Rifles can made reusable again by oiling and servicing as also the ammunition. However, bombs and hand grenades would be of no use now,” said another security man on condition of anonymity as they are not authorised to speak to media.

Similar was the fate of army camps in other places in the Valley.

“We start our operations to help the marooned people at 4 AM every day and halt at midnight. Between midnight and 4 AM, the boats are serviced,” said Subedar Honorary Lt S P Singh of 103 Engineers Regiment, which is based in Jalandhar and was rushed here five days back to help in rescue and relief operations.

“Our priority is to save children, women and unwell people,” he says, while estimating that their regiment must have rescued at least 10,000 people so far.

Indian Air Force, on its part, has pressed into service 35 aircraft and equal number of helicopters to bring in relief supplies and evacuate people from the valley. These include heavy lift five C-130J and three C-17 aircraft, according to an IAF spokesman.

Relief material is brought from various places including Delhi and Chandigarh, and stranded people are taken to places where arrangements are made for their onward journey to their destinations, the spokesman said.