SRI NAGAR: Not only residents in the Valley but security forces deployed to maintain law and order across Jammu and Kashmir have also been impacted by the communication blockade enforced by the government since August 5, when the central government scrapped Article 370.
“I have not spoken to my family in Rajouri for last 22 days,” said a paramilitary CRPF jawan deployed in Srinagar.
He said the phone facility exists in their units concerned, but since they remain deployed 12 hours, they are not able to go to the units and avail the facility.
“Like the locals, we too are facing problems due to communication blockade,” he said.
Another CRPF jawan, from Himachal Pradesh, said he has not had a word with his to the family since August 5.
“I have parents, wife and a child at home and unfortunately I have not been able to call them since August 5. I am worried about them and my family is worried about me,” said the jawan, who is serving his first posting in J&K. He said since Himachal was hit by floods and he is praying for his family.
Another CRPF jawan, from Bihar, said he has been able to call his family twice in the last 22 days.
The jawan said all security personnel deployed in the Valley are facing problems.
“But what can be done. The decision has been taken by the government”.
A group of army men manning a checkpoint in Srinagar said they used to call their family regularly.
“However, since August 5 when communication blockade came in force, we have called our families only twice. Not talking to family members is a cause of concern for us and also our families, who are worried about us” they said.
Authorities said 73,000 out of 96,000 landlines in the state are functional. However, people in many areas of Srinagar and other parts of the Valley said the landlines are not working.
Two women hurt in stone-pelting
Two women were injured in incidents of stone-pelting in Kashmir in the last 24 hours, police said on Monday. Two families in Srinagar alleged that two members died of suffocation due to tear gas shelling by security forces.
However, authorities have not confirmed these deaths. A police spokesman said a woman identified as Mehmooda was injured in stone-pelting in Hawal area in Srinagar.
“Mehmooda suffered injuries in the right eye and nose and was hospitalised.”
Another civilian Ajay Kumar, 16, hailing from Udhampur was injured in a stone-pelting incident at Gallandar, Pampore in Pulwama district, the spokesman said.
He said Ajay sustained injuries in right eye and nose and was referred to a nearby hospital, where from he was referred to Srinagar hospital. Police have registered cases in both the incidents and conducted raids to nab the stone pelters involved in the incidents.
Maya asks Congress to have patience
BSP chief Mayawati targeted the opposition, led by Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, for their Srinagar visit at a time when the Valley is reeling under curbs. Mayawati accused the opposition of “playing politics” over the Kashmir issue.
The former Uttar Pradesh CM was of the opinion that their visit gave the BJP “a chance to play politics” on the issue.
In a series of tweets on Monday, the BSP chief justified her party’s decision to back abrogation of Art 370.