Civil society group demands probe in cause of flood in J&K

New Delhi, Oct 10 (IANS) With Jammu and Kashmir still trying to emerge from the worst flood in decades, a civil society group Friday demanded a probe in the causes of the deluge.

A fact finding report “Natural Calamity, Man Made Disaster”, by The Centre for Policy Analysis, also demanded a probe in the rescue operations by the army.
The team, which comprised Tushar Gandhi, Anand Sahay and Seema Mustafa, visited Srinagar that was worst affected in the Kashmir Valley along with south Kashmir districts.
“A judicial probe should be held based on well-grounded technical assessments into the causes of the flood waters entering Srinagar. Its terms of reference should include the status of the state government’s preparedness to cope with such a situation, and its actual performance once tragedy struck since in the perception of most people the state government became ‘invisible’,” the report said.
It also demanded a probe by “appropriate authority into the rescue operations conducted by the military”.
“Many in Srinagar attest to their effectiveness, but also complain about their prioritisation. The general belief is that the focus of rescue by the armed forces was not ordinary Kashmiris but tourists, select members of the Kashmiri elite, and migrant labourers who have been living in the valley over the years,” the report said.
The report also said the framework of the probe into the conduct of the armed forces should include the work of their public relation department “which seemed to have gone into overdrive, resulting in very skewed television coverage that has only succeeded in tilting the perception against the Army and the country”.
“The electronic media played a very disruptive and vitiating role and gave reason to the Kashmiris to be hurt and angry,” it added.