Stone pelters attack IAF relief aircraft, rescue ops continue
Even as the armed forces continue relentless relief work in the flooded Kashmir Valley, rescuing as many as 1,42,000 people, their aircraft and boats are being targeted by stone pelters.india Updated: Sep 13, 2014 19:53 IST
Even as the armed forces continue relentless relief work in the flooded Kashmir Valley, rescuing as many as 1,42,000 people, their aircraft and boats are being targeted by stone pelters.
Some of the 80 IAF aircraft involved in relief and rescue operations across the flooded Srinagar city have suffered minor damage after they were targeted by stone pelters but the security personnel say they "won't give up" till help reaches all.
"There have been incidents when the helicopters flying at low altitude were targeted with stones and one of the helicopter was in fact hit by several stones causing some minor damage on the body and near the rotary wings," a senior air force officer told PTI.
The officer said that the helicopter, however, returned safely to the base where the damage was being assessed. The army too says that some of its boats deployed for relief and rescue operations were attacked by stone pelters.
"It is unfortunate that the people who are trying to save them are being attacked, but we will not give up and will continue with our work till help does not reach to every single soul," said air marshal SB Deo, director general of air operations.
There have been reports that at certain places people are being instigated by separatists to target and disrupt the relief and rescue work being undertaken by the air force and the army.
Deo said that he could understand that there was anger amongst the people and he has empathy for those who lost everything in the floods.
Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah too has condemned the targeting of the army and air force personnel who are engaged in the relief and rescue operations across the Valley and appealed to the "disruptive elements" to allow these operations.
"These disruptive elements are fishing in the troubled waters, they must not become impediments in the relief and rescue work being carried out by different agencies. "They will get plenty of time afterwards," Abdullah said.
1,42,000 saved so far
Meanwhile, 1,42,000 people have been rescued from the flood-ravaged parts of Jammu and Kashmir so far as rescue operations enter their 12th day.
"Armed Forces and NDRF have so far rescued over 1,42,000 persons from different parts of J&K in the ongoing rescue and relief operations," a defence spokesperson said in Srinagar.
Rest of India pitches in
Thirteen tonnes of water purifying tablets and six water filtration plants with a capacity to filter 1.2 lakh bottles per day has already reached Srinagar, he said.
Suction pumps and other engineering equipment from Vishakhapatnam have also reached the flood affected area for relief work, he said, adding twelve sewage pumps from Delhi have also been dispatched to the Valley.
The spokesman said communication equipment of department of telecommunication, army, BSNL and some private companies have also been dispatched to restore the network.
Also, thirty generator sets of 3 to 5 KVA capacity have been sent to Srinagar to provide continuous power supply in relief camps and field hospitals, he added.
Besides these, as many as 8,200 blankets and 1,119 tents have been provided to the flood victims, he said, adding, 80 medical teams of the Armed Forces Medical Services are already operating in full swing.
Four field hospitals have been established in Avantipur, Pattan, Anantnag and Old Airfield where medical aid is being provided to the ailing people, he said, adding that till now, they have treated more than 22,500 patients.
Union home secretary Anil Goswami, who is monitoring the rescue and relief operations met CM Abdullah on Saturday.
Goswami, who is camping in Srinagar for the past two days, had earlier held a series of meetings with the officials of Indian Army, Indian Air force, state administration and other agencies engaged in the relief and rescue works.