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J&K floods: Discontent Kashmiris aiding each other in time of crisis

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credit: www.thehindu.om
credit: www.ndtv.com
credit: www.ndtv.com

By NewsGram Staff-Writer

Baramulla (Jammu and Kashmir): Nearly a year after the deadly J&K floods that claimed almost 300 lives, the Kashmiris feel that the government was not doing enough and in some strange ways, they believe that the deluge united them like never before.

There are scores of people living in makeshift houses in Baramulla district, around 40 km from Srinagar and to make things worse, they don’t have any source of income.

Lamenting on the destruction of his weaving unit, Ali Mohammed Butt, a carpet weaver by profession from Duslipora village, says he needs Rs.50, 000 to Rs.60, 000 to restore it.

Adding salt to the wound, not only the weaving unit but his home was also destroyed in the floods. Butt and his family, during the day time, live in a half wooden structure built with government aid. At night, they shift into a community hall as their “home” is not safe for women.

Recently, he was ordered to evict the community hall.

“I was depressed after getting the notice as I was worried about the safety of my daughter and wife. But the villagers came into my rescue. The notice was withdrawn,” Butt was quoted as saying.

Gulam Nabi, another carpet weaver, said after the J&K floods he had to work as a labourer in Srinagar as his carpet loom too was destroyed.

Two months ago, Nabi resumed his carpet weaving after members of a village-level committee formed by NGO ActionAid India came to his rescue.

“The flood has further distressed people in Kashmir who were already suffering from psychosocial issues,” said Nasreen, a psychologist with the J and K Yateem Trust. “It was a challenge to boost their morale again.”

The Trust is a local partner of ActionAid, a global NGO working in India since 1972.

Few Kashmiris can forget the horror of September 6, 2014 night when the floods swept through the valley and Jammu region, claiming nearly 300 lives and  hundreds of houses were destroyed. With water rising upto over 15 feet in places, thousands became homeless and lost virtually everything.

Tabia Muzaffar of ActionAid India said: “Livelihood was badly hit by the floods. We are providing counselling and helping the victims to restart their business so that they can earn their livelihood.”

She said her NGO’s focus was on districts like Baramulla, Anantnag, Pulwama and Kulgam.

Muzaffar said ActionAid India was focusing on providing psychosocial counselling and helping in the restoration of livelihoods and linkages of families with government entitlements.

It appeared to be a popular sentiment that the government was not doing enough for people. Maqbul Rather, the sarpanch of Harinara village, said that villagers did not get much help from the authorities during and after the J&K floods and it were people who helped each other.

“In my village, 80 percent of families are into carpet weaving. After the floods they are working as daily labourers. Road and bridges are yet to be repaired. Some people got government assistance to construct their homes but the amount is not enough,” Rather said.

Another sarpanch from Yakhmanpura village, Gulam Ahmed Dar, shared the same feelings, “We need more help. Nothing was done to normalise our lives.”

A loss-memo of Rs.44,000 crore ($6.5 billion) was sent to the central government by the Jammu and Kashmir government for immediate assistance in October 2014. Activists say the memo is gathering dust in New Delhi.

With inputs from IANS

 

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India Says Pakistan’s Links with Pulwama Attack Clear For All to See

He said while there are claims to offer dialogue from Pakistan, it continues to shelter terror outfits

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Arun Jaitley
"The most favoured nation status which has been granted to Pakistan stands withdrawn.", says Jaitley. Pixabay

India has rejected Pakistan Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua’s claims denying her country’s links to the Pulwama terror attack, saying that JeM, which claimed responsibility for the attack on Thursday, is based in Pakistan, and the “links are clear and evident and for all to see”.

The External Affairs Ministry spokesperson on Friday termed as “preposterous” the demand for an investigation, saying there is a video of the suicide bomber declaring himself a member of the terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

The spokesperson said India has not seen any constructive approach from Pakistan on bilateral relations and it has been sheltering terrorists and terror organisations such as JeM. He said Islamabad has not taken any action against such groups despite international demands.

India also demanded that Pakistan take immediate and verifiable action against terrorists and terror groups operating from territories under its control to create a conducive atmosphere in the region free of terror.

The spokesperson’s response came over Pakistan Foreign Secretary’s briefing rejecting Pakistan’s involvement in the terror attack on a paramilitary convoy in Jammu and Kashmir that killed at least 45 troopers. Janjua met envoys of P-5 countries late on Friday.

The spokesperson said JeM has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that the attack was a matter of “grave concern” and it had been condemning “heightened acts of violence in the (Kashmir) Valley”. Pixabay

“The organisation and its leadership are located in Pakistan. LeT and other terror groups have welcomed the news of the attack. These groups are also based in Pakistan. Pakistan cannot claim that it is unaware of their presence and their activities.

“They have not taken any action against these groups despite international demands, especially against groups and individuals proscribed by the UN and other countries. The links to Pakistan are clear and evident for all to see. Its own Ministers have shared the same podium with UN proscribed terrorists,” the spokesperson said.

He said there was audio-visual material linking JeM to the terror attack.

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“The demand for an investigation is preposterous when there is a video of the suicide bomber declaring himself a member of the JeM. There are also other audio-visual and print material linking JeM to the terrorist attack. We have therefore no doubt that the claim is firmly established,” the spokesperson said.

He said while there are claims to offer dialogue from Pakistan, it continues to shelter terror outfits.

“We have not seen any constructive approach from Pakistan on relations with India. What we have noticed however, are claims to offer dialogue on the one hand, while sponsoring and sheltering terrorists and terrorist organisations such as JeM on the other,” the spokesperson added. (IANS)