When calamity strikes, it does not discriminate. This was on ample display when floods ravaged Kashmir.
Along with civilian population, security forces deployed here 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.
Some reports said 26 AK rifles from an army camp have been washed away in the floods. In the area of Gogji Bagh in uptown Srinagar, one of the worst hit parts of the Valley, about 400 personnel of a central paramilitary force had to leave their camp after gushing waters engulfed it last Sunday night.
“We got orders to leave everything and save our lives,” said one of them, explaining how weapons remained in the submerged building complex. With water level receding somewhat, they are now make rounds of their complex to locate the weapons.
“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.
However, as they come to terms with what happened, their colleagues work almost round-the-clock to save marooned civilians and deliver relief material to those who refuse to come out of their submerged houses for fear of theft and looting.