Blockade: Jawans unable to stay in touch with families

A security person stands guard during shutdown, in Srinagar on Thursday. (PTI Photo)

The ongoing communication blockade in Kashmir has not only affected the locals, but it has added worries of security forces personnel as they are unable to stay in touch with their families outside the state.

The news of floods in Bihar, Rajasthan and some other parts of the country has perturbed them as they can’t speak to their families frequently as was the practice before August 5 when mobile and internet services were snapped in Kashmir. Through the official helpline system, they are allowed to make calls twice a week.

A CRPF personnel deployed in Srinagar, on the condition of anonymity said he was worried about his family after hearing the news of floods in Bihar. “It has been a week since I spoke to my family and since then I have no news about them. We have tough duty hours as situation in Kashmir is volatile and to add to it staying out of touch with our families adds to our anxiety,” he said.

“It’s like we are guarding the nation without knowledge about our own families,” he added.

His views were echoed by another paramilitary man. “I came to know that the flood water has entered our village and most of the villagers had been taken to the safer places by the administration. Nation is always first for us but staying out of touch with our families for days together is a killing experience,” he said.

A middle rung-paramilitary officer said that though situation was not favorable in Kashmir to restore the cellular services “atleast security force personnel should be exempted from the ongoing gag at this crucial juncture.”

“Our men are physically guarding people while being on the streets of Kashmir, but they are always thinking about the well-being of their families back home. Higher authorities must restore the cellular services for security personnel on priority as it would give them a chance to remain in touch with their families,” he added.

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