The air force on Tuesday faced a daunting task of lifting thousands of stranded people at Nehru Bagh near the governor’s residence in Srinagar, since the crowds turned unruly.
Towards the evening, as the huge number of people still waiting to be airlifted started pelting the Mi-17 rescue helicopter (designed to carry 36 passengers) with stones, the air force had to call off evacuation for the day.
At Ram Bagh, from where the National Disaster Response Force rescue boats are being launched for downtown Srinagar where the water level is still up to 8 feet, people didn’t allow the rafts to operate, as everyone wanted a boat for own family and to own house. The police were not providing any backup for the fear of backlash, so the NDRF operation was stalled as well.
As there are still lakhs of people waiting to be airlifted, chief minister Omar Abdullah said the focus now was also on providing them with food and other supplies until the helicopters could return and get them to safety.