NEW DELHI: The J&K administration has issued directions to officials to facilitate the return of outside students to their states who wish to go home for Eid-ul-Zuha that will be celebrated on Monday.
The deputy commissioner’s office in Srinagar also set up two helplines — 9419028242 and 9419028251 — in order to facilitate Kashmiris living outside the state to contact their families back home, officials said.
The governor has also sanctioned Rs 1 lakh each to designated liaison officers for organising Eid festivities for J&K youths studying in other states and are unable to come home on the occasion, a Raj Bhawan spokesperson said. These directions were issued by Governor Sayta Pal Malik at a high-level meeting of officials to review security and to ensure basic services and essential commodities to people were not denied.
While communication blackout is still in place in J&K, Srinagar District Magistrate Shahid Choudhary made the announcement on Twitter. He also tweeted that the government will soon set up over 300 more helplines across Valley. He said that for passengers in transit, langars have been set up and accommodation and transport have also been arranged.
Choudhary was also seen reaching out to many people on Twitter who asked him if they will be able to reach their homes in areas as far Sopore in the present circumstances. Responding to such queries, he assured people to not change their schedule of visiting Kashmir and said the administration will facilitate them with transport facility. “Movement of all students from Kashmir districts, Jammu, Ladakh and outside state facilitated pressing more than 300 vehicles. Workers intending to visit homes in other states are being facilitated. 56 buses carrying 1940 passengers moved yesterday,” he tweeted.
While the two helplines gave hope to many, the access to their families in the Valley remained very limited. “I tried calling a lot on both the numbers made available but to no avail. The number is engaged all the time. It has been four days that I haven’t heard from my family. We are very worried thus tried to call and figure out if we could get in touch,” said Rubina Rashid, who lives in Delhi.
A furious Adil Ahmed said, “Why this joke of helpline numbers? Do they know how many households are there in Kashmir? Merely two helpline numbers to reach out to everyone?”