In disconnected Kashmir, people throng DC office to use helpline
After five days of restrictions and shutdown of communication lines, Jammu and Kashmir government has opened helpline at the DC office.Updated: Aug 10, 2019 00:28 IST
Men and women early on Friday jostle to enter the Srinagar deputy commissioner’s office with a hope to get in touch with their loved, living in different parts of the country.
After five days of restrictions and shutdown of communication lines, Jammu and Kashmir government has opened helpline at the DC office, which is being used by the people.
Starting early morning, people from different parts of the city started thronging the DC office with a hope to get a chance to speak to their loved ones. Policemen standing outside the gate didn’t allow anyone to go inside. “The gate will open at 10 am, till then nobody will be allowed inside. We have instructions from seniors,” said a policeman.
“No curfew pass issued here,” reads a poster on the wall outside the gate.
Urging the policemen to open gate as clock struck 10am, Farooq Hassan, a Lal Bazar resident, had reached the office at 7am. “I am here to get in touch with my daughter studying medicine in Bangladesh. I will not be able to make an international call but I will call my relative in Delhi, who will communicate to my daughter that we are alright,” he said. “I will try to use the helpline tomorrow again to enquire about my daughter.”
“We are aware that hundreds of people are eager to use this facility so we have prepared a serial wise list of people planning to use this facility to avoid any mishandling. The list has already crossed 100 people,” an official was telling the people.
“The person who is in charge of the helpline numbers has not reached the office,” said Riyaz Ahmad of Batamaloo, who wants to call his wife and children who stay in Bangalore.
“I had come home the day communication lines were snapped in Kashmir. I am hopeful to use this helpline as my family must be worried about me,” he said while handing over phone numbers to an employee who asked people to make two queues, separate for men and woman. “Once the officer reaches here, we will start calling you one by one,” the employee told Ahmad.
Arshid Khan, who had come Nowgam using interior link roads to reach DC office, said, due to curfew, it took him two hours to reach here. “I took this risk as I have no information about my son who is studying in Rajasthan,” he said. “It is our misfortune that in 21st century we have to use this mode of communicate to know about our loved ones.”
Many people have turned up at the office complex to get curfew passes despite reading the poster outside the office. “I am supplying essential items to Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya Shahkote in Uri. I have to get food items for the boarding school so I have come here to get the curfew pass. I am not sure whether pass will be issued to me or not,” said Mohammad Ashraf Shinwari, who lives in Karan Nagar area of Srinagar.