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Nature’s wrath again: Govt declares flood in Kashmir as Jhelum crosses danger mark

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By Newsgram Staff Writer

Within a span of less than seven months, Kashmir is flooded again due to incessant rains and over flooding of Jhelum.

State authorities on Monday declared flood in the Kashmir Valley and asked people living close to the banks of the Jhelum river to move to safer places.

“Flood level was 22.8 feet (status red) at Sangam (Anantnag), 19 feet (status red) at Ram Munshi Bagh (Srinagar) and 11.55 feet (status green) at Ashim (Bandipora) today (Monday) morning,” officials handling the situation said.

“Centre is in touch with the state government of Jammu & Kashmir and closely monitoring the situation of increasing water levels in Jhelum River at Srinagar. No breach of embankment has been reported,” the Ministry of Home Affairs said in a statement

However, as a precautionary measure, to assist the state government authorities, two teams of NDRF have been deputed and another four teams kept stand-by, MHA said.

“All officials connected directly and indirectly with flood control operation have been ordered to report for duty and remain available at their places of posting,” a top divisional administration official told to a news agency.

“People living along the banks of Jhelum are advised to exercise extreme caution. Moving to safer places from vulnerable areas is advised,”  quoted IANS.

People living in flood-prone areas of Srinagar city, have already started migrating to safer places since Sunday evening.

The strategic Jammu-Srinagar highway has also been closed since Saturday. Authorities in Jammu said the highway would remain closed today (Monday) as well.

An avalanche warning was also sounded in the higher reaches of the seven districts in the state.

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The Plight Of Kashmir’s Pandits

The Global Kashmiri Pandit Diaspora said a memorandum signed by thousands of Kashmiri Pandits has been addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi

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Kashmiri Pandits
Plight of Kashmiri Pandits continues: Community members. Flickr

Dozens of Kashmiri Pandits on Friday paid homage to civilians, Army men and their community members killed since 1989 and said the plight of Pandits still continues.

For 28 years, the Kashmiri Pandit community has been observing September 14 as ‘Martyrs’ Day-Balidan Diwas’ at B.K. Ganjoo memorial park in Central Delhi.

United Kingdom-based activist Shafalica Bhan Kotwal who has been fighting for the rights of the Kashmiri Pandits, said: “There is no major change in the lives of Kashmir Pandits, their plight still continues despite Bharatiya Janata Party being in power.

Kashmiri pandits
Kashmir. Pixabay

“Most of them were thrown out of their homes. They are living in pathetic conditions in shelter homes with no basic facilities.”

She said the community was once accustomed to living in minus 17 degrees Celsius. “Their families are now living in the hostile Jammu weather,” she added.

The son of Kasmiri Pandits’ leader Tika Lal Taploo, Ashutosh Taploo, was at the meeting. He said: “My father was killed not just because he was a Pandit..because he was looked as the Hindu community leader.”

Kashmiri Pandits
Kashmiri Hindus protest renaming of Shankaracharya Hill. Flickr

Taploo said his father was the first Pandit to have fallen to terrorist bullets in the Valley.

Also Read: Jammu And Kashmir’s Ad Film Wins Gold At IAA Awards

“Till today no government has brought any major change in Pandits’ lives, the atrocities we experienced and psychological trauma we suffered is fresh” he said.

In a statement calling for justice to “victims of terrorism,” the Global Kashmiri Pandit Diaspora said a memorandum signed by thousands of Kashmiri Pandits has been addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and submitted to Union Minister Hansraj Ahir. (IANS)

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