In Kashmir, letters return as means of correspondence

Kashmiri pedestrians walk past a security personnel vehicle in Srinagar. (AFP Photo)

 As communication clampdown continues in Kashmir with telephone and Internet services remaining suspended for almost two weeks now, handwritten letters are making a comeback as means of correspondence for besieged Kashmiris.

However, unlike the older times, the letters are not being sent through postal services, but people manage to send these through the passengers travelling from Srinagar airport to outside the Valley. 

Outside the airport, Shahid Bhat is anxiously waiting for some passenger who could deliver a letter to his daughter in Delhi. “I managed to reach here early in the morning so that I can send a message to my daughter. However, till now I have not been able to locate the right passenger, who could do me this favour,” Bhat told DH.

The contents of the letter are short: “We are fine in Kashmir and don’t worry about us. Just take care of yourself and I am trying hard to transfer money to your account and as soon as, banking or internet services are restored, it will be done.”

“Please recharge Tata Sky as we have no means to recharge. There is a possibility that landline services may be restored in some days. You can contact on mamu’s (uncle’s) landline number in that case,” the letter adds.

The sudden suspension of communication in Kashmir on August 4 is keeping people on the edge, who want to reach out to their families in times when the government has restricted the movement of people. Since then people are anxiously waiting for communication blockade to be removed.

Another man was seen handing over a letter to a passenger at the airport, requesting him to Whatsapp it to his son, working in Mumbai. “My son had got a job in Mumbai in March this year. He could not visit on Eid-ul-Fitr in June, and we were anxiously waiting for him to return on Bakr-Eid. But now there is no hope. We have been pushed to Stone Age,” he rued.

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