J&K floods: Army vehicles pelted with stones; people’s anger justified, says Omar
SRINAGAR: Terming the flood situation in the
flood-ravaged Kashmir valley as very serious, Jammu and Kashmir chief minister
Omar Abdullah on Wednesday said he understood the anger of the people affected
by the unprecedented catastrophe.
Omar also dismissed criticism of his government in the
handling of the flood crisis, saying joint efforts involving various agencies
including his administration are being made to help people tide over the
Over 200 people have been killed in floods, landslides
and house collapses triggered by torrential rains. Four-lakh people still
remain stranded. Omar on Tuesday described the floods that has devastated the
state as the worst in 109 years.
Asked about the criticism of the state government over
the handling of the situation, Omar said if there was heckling, “People are
alive to shout slogans, I have no problems. It means that these people have
been rescued, they have been accommodated somewhere. Where they have been
accommodated is not my concern,” he said.
“I understand the anger (of people). I don’t grudge
them. They have gone through difficult times.” Congress leader Saifuddin Soz
was heckled in one of the relief camps. In another incident, Army vehicles
loaded with supplies were pelted with stones as they tried to make their way
Omar said the situation was unprecedented. “The focus
is entirely on making available all assets. Such situations are handled through
joint efforts... It is a very serious humanitarian situation in terms of rescue
and relief of the people.
“... It is an unprecedented situation. In nobody's
life time, we remember water to be at this level. It is something nobody could
have prepared for. The efforts of the central government, army, air force and
state government and operations have been ramped up. Supplies are arriving and
we are doing our best to rescue people,” he said.
The chief minister said there was no ‘weakness’ in
coordination between the forces on ground and the state government is working
together with the armed forces.
“I am in touch with the Army, the Navy and trying to
make sure that the right stuff reaches the right place and we are able to
achieve the stuff properly. We are not able to communicate with the people,” he
said. He said the main source of worry for him was the likely spread of
diseases after the water level in flood-hit areas recedes.