Ahead of Eid al-Adha, the Central Police Reserve Force (CRPF) Sunday released a new helpline for people, especially Kashmiris, who require help for their families or are in distress. The development comes amid a blackout on communication, including, for the first time, fixed-line phone services besides the internet.
The Srinagar-based ‘madadgaar’ helpline posted a message on Twitter, saying people could call on 9469793260 “for any assistance or updates”. Its standard official number 14111, officials said, was not working due to the communication clampdown in the Kashmir Valley.
The tweet also stated that help could be sought over its official handle @CRPFmadadgaar. The helpline will also share with the callers the active contact numbers of local police stations so that people can get in touch with them to obtain or send information about their near and dear ones, PTI reported quoting an official.
— CRPF Madadgaar (@CRPFmadadgaar) August 11, 2019
The development comes amid reports that people are trying everything, from lining up at crowded government offices that have working telephones to approaching OB vans of satellite news channels, to get word out to their families.
Magistrates have been deployed at every critical place to act as facilitators for the convenience of the general public, PTI quoted a government spokesperson as saying.
Meanwhile, the J&K civil administration is working round the clock to ensure a smooth Eid in the valley. As many as 300 special telephone booths are being established to help the public to communicate with their kin and relatives.
The authorities have also deployed mobile vans for the door to door delivery of vegetables, LPG cylinders, poultry and eggs. Treasuries, banks and ATMs have been made functional even on holidays in the run-up to the festival, PTI quoted a government official as saying. Six ‘mandies’ have been established in Srinagar city.
Ration ‘ghats’ in every district have been set up for adequate supply groceries to people. Out of 3,697 rations ‘ghats’ in Kashmir division, 3,557 rations ‘ghats’ have been made operational to provide essentials to the general public, PTI reported.
On Sunday, Governor Satya Pal Malik extended greetings to the people on the auspicious occasion of Eid-ul-Azha and prayed for their well-being and prosperity.
In his message, the governor said he hopes that this festival would further strengthen the bonds of communal harmony, brotherhood, amity, and revive the glorious pluralistic ethos for which Jammu and Kashmir has been known for centuries past. The developments come even as Section 144 is still imposed in Kashmir valley amid a heavy troop deployment.