Kashmir salutes Indian Army: What about Geelani, stone pelters?
JAMMU: Indian Army and Indian Air Force (IAF) are doing a real yoemen’s job to evacuate people from flood ravaged Kashmir Valley. Being protectors of the nation, they are not doing any favour to marooned compatriots by undertaking biggest ever rescue operation post Independence but given the situation in the Valley, the effort can’t just be wished away. Nearly 184 columns of valiant jawans and officers are engaged round the clock in evacuating the trapped people, who are caught in nature’s fury and waiting for much needed help with surroundings inundated and houses showing signs of cracks.
For a pleasant change in the otherwise grim scenario, the Syed Ali Geelani brand of secessionists are dumb stuck and in a fix what to say and how to react to the services being carried out by the armed forces, who are visible everywhere in the midst of men, women and children, rendering yoeman’s service in true spirit of Indian Army. Nowhere are seen his Mujahids and stone pelters, who make him proud of playing Intifaada to reflect, what he says, anger against the armed forces. They are nowhere to be seen to help out their brethren in distress. There is also no trace of ISIS ‘recruits’ who paraded in Srinagar city on Pakistan’s Independence Day last month. Equally encouraging are the vibes coming from mainstream leaders like Dr Sheikh Mustaffa Kamal, who is speaking very good words for the army that has been a red rag for him ever since he lost his elections to Ghulam Hassan Mir in Tangmarg. He has been a strong votary of erasing foot-prints of the army from Kashmir.
It is not for the first time when Indian Army has put their weight behind people of the Valley. They did a most commendable job during 2005 earthquake and even lost several of their men while reaching out to tremor hit population in a border habitation of Karnah Tehsil. However, current rescue operation, which the army has coded as Rahat, is indeed a biggest one given the magnitude of the calamity. The Indian Air Force and Delhi based Disaster Management Group are supplementing the efforts of the men in field. The pictures being beamed on national television and carried by print media are overwhelming. Risking their own lives, the men in combat dresses are tirelessly working to extend help to the needy. In the process, two brave jawans are feared to have been washed away when the boat carrying nine army men including an officer capsized during a rescue and relief mission in Pulwama, the district that witnessed massive demonstrations against the security forces recently in protest against killing of two terrorists.
The armed forces and the brave IAF personnel have so far evacuated 12,500 people to safety and with the improvement in weather conditions, 29 planes and choppers committed for the relief mission will double their sorties to reach out to the affected people. In all, 850 stranded people have already been airlifted. The army has also provided medicines and shelter to 3,000 and food packs to 3,500 persons. Tented accommodation has been raised for hundreds by the armed forces. To restore road commutation, 13 teams of Army Engineering Corps are working round the clock in the affected areas.
The selfless mission of the army is not to score the point, which is unfortunately the trait of mainstream politicians and various wings of the civil administration. The army is in service of people irrespective of their caste, creed or colour. Who knows who they are rescuing in most volatile situation of Kashmir because that is not a point to be considered at the moment. It is a humanitarian effort which army is accomplishing with a sense of purpose. However, there will definitely be a question mark in the minds of those seeking repatriation of army back to their barracks or erasing their footprints in Kashmir, how sagacious their departure from the scene would be. The army has not proved once that they are the saviours of people in Kashmir; they have withstood test of times during raid by Pakistani marauders in 1947, during the proxy war, in the times of earth quake or natural calamities, to speak the least.