Heavy snowfall across Jammu and Kashmir has led to many far-flung areas getting cut off from the mainland. But the security forces, including Army and Border Security Force, are lending a helping hand to the people in distress.
The soldiers carrying pregnant women and other terminally ill people to hospitals on foot has been a common practice in J&K during winter months for the past many years. In distress residents of far-flung areas have only one hope, i.e., the Army soldiers or the jawans of other security forces, who are deployed in their areas all throughout the year.
Recently a video clip showing the Indian Army soldiers carrying a pregnant woman to a hospital on their shoulders amid heavy snowfall in north Kashmir’s Uri sector went viral on social media. The locals from Ghagar Hill village along Line of Control in Boniyar had sought the help of an Army unit in their area to carry a pregnant woman to the hospital. The jawans amidst heavy snowfall carried the woman on their shoulders over a distance of 6.5 Kms to the primary health centre.
In south Kashmir’s Shopian district, an Army evacuation team carried another pregnant woman on a stretcher from snowbound Ramnagri village to the district hospital.
The BSF jawans airlifted three patients for medical attention from the snow-bound Tangdhar sector to Kupwara. Tangdhar remains cut off for days altogether during winter due to snowfall and mud slides that block the road.
Always at forefront
Security forces deployed in Jammu and Kashmir besides fighting Pakistan sponsored insurgency have always remained at forefront to help the local people. During winter months civil administration usually seeks help from the Army to reach out to the people living in mountainous areas. Army and other security forces have never said no. Even if the locals approach the security forces directly for any assistance, it’s provided to them without any recommendation from the local authorities as the local commanders don’t want people to get caught in wrangles during crisis time. Their only aim is to solve the problem.
The people friendly approach of the security forces has helped them win the hearts of masses. Denizens of Jammu and Kashmir rely heavily upon the security forces in difficult situations.
The local Army units deployed in far-flung areas keep on organizing medical and other camps for the local population. These units also provide ration, clothes, blankets and quilts to the people in winter so that they are equipped to fight the inclement weather conditions.
During the past thirty years, Pakistan and its advocates in Jammu and Kashmir have tried their best to project the Indian Army and other Central armed forces as “occupational forces” but their propaganda based on lies and deceit has fallen flat. The security forces have built a strong relation with the local populace in J&K. Officers and jawans despite facing all the odds have always remained available for the common man. They have protected him from the militants and have ensured that whenever a civilian is in need the armed forces reach out to him without any delay.
There have been instances where the Army has rescued the people from accident sites, and has prevented the fire from gutting the entire village. The soldiers have built a strong bond with a common man. The residents of J&K reposing faith in the security forces have hurt the militants and their bosses sitting across the Line of Control. Many civilians during the past 30-years have been labeled as informers of security forces and killed by the ultras.
There was a time when militant groups used to issue diktats to people, asking them not to visit the camps of security forces and attend their programmes. But the common people didn’t succumb under pressure and maintained a cordial relationship with the security forces. By doing so they sent a clear message that the Indian Army is People’s Army and it’s not an “occupational force”.
By helping security forces to fight the militancy, a common man in J&K has made it clear that ultras are not their friends as their only aim is to disrupt their lives and kill people to fight the proxy war of Pakistan.
Human face, big heart
Till August 5, 2019 — when the Centre announced its decision to abrogate J&K’s special status and divided it into two Union Territories — a common man in J&K was unable to give vent to his feelings in an explicit way but during the past two years nationalist voices have become vocal. They are calling spade a spade and are openly acknowledging who is their friend and who is their enemy.
The human face and big heart of the security forces has always been visible. In 2005 when an earthquake devastated villages, hamlets and towns in Kashmir, the security forces provided shelter to people in their camps and helped them in rebuilding their homes.
When Kashmir witnessed the worst floods of the century in 2014, central armed forces, including the Indian Air Force, were the first ones to reach out to the marooned people. The security forces pressed their boats and manpower into service to pull the people out of the inundated areas in Kashmir. The IAF helicopters airlifted thousands of people and took them to safer places.
Security forces in J&K by their actions have on every occasion proven the adversary wrong. Their presence in Jammu and Kashmir has helped a common man to carry out his daily chores without any fear. The soldiers put their lives at stake to ensure that a civilian remains safe and the enemies of peace, prosperity and development don’t succeed in their nefarious designs.
Security forces have always been there to serve the people of J&K and ensure their well being. Besides protecting a common man from the enemy and the elements inimical to peace, jawans of Army, Border Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force and others have always extended a helping hand. Whenever a common Kashmiri has been in distress he has always looked towards the armed forces and they have never let him down.