Hello! DC office?
May I help you, responds curfew helpline
SYED IMRAN ALI HAMDANI
Srinagar, July 20: “Hello! Is this DC Office?” “Yes, how can I help you?” is response from 9469179908, the helpline started Friday by the District Magistrate, Er Farooq Ahmed Shah in the wake of continued curfew, which entered second consecutive day Saturday.
“I have no baby food or milk for my infant. I want to go out but its curfew out there. Can you help me out,” this reporter, pretending to be a destitute from old City told the helpline while recording the conversation. “Which Police Station do you fall in?” the helpline official asked. “Khanyaar,” this reporter replied. “Can you manage reaching the Police Station Khanyaar? I will ask them to give you a curfew pass and also try to see if they can assist you in getting milk for baby,” the official said.
“But how can I reach the Police Station amid curfew? Cops might beat me on way,” I replied. “OK then you will have to send someone to the DC office, we will issue a curfew pass there,” the official said.
There were some more of queries from this caller. “I have another problem. My wife is held up at my in-law’s place, I have to bring her home because the baby is crying… Can you help me get her back home?” “Don’t worry. You take the curfew pass and take her home,” the official responded.
Official sources said the helpline has been receiving scores of calls from people since last evening when the DM, who is also the District Development Commissioner, started the helpline in the wake of curfew following killing of civilians in Gool area of Ramban district.
The helpline has been dedicated to be a 24X7 service till the curfew is over from Srinagar. Sources said most of the callers were in need of curfew passes to visit hospitals while many from the old City complained of shortage of essentials. “But there were no restrictions on issuance of curfew passes to genuine cases,” sources said.
In the meantime, this reporter phoned the helpline again but from a different number. This time, pretending to be social worker from Batamaloo, who wants to help the Gool, Ramban firing victims, undergoing treatment at SMHS Hospital. Many of them are hospitalized in Srinagar hospitals.
“I along with a delegation of concerned want to provide some relief to our brethren from Ramban who along with their attendants are stuck in SMHS Hospital. Kindly help us out in this hour of grief as they need our support,” this reporter said.
“Jinab no doubts helping them is a humanitarian issue but then I cannot personally help you on this front. You will have to call the DC Sahib or the SSP Sahib. They are senior officials authorized enough to take such decisions,” the official said pleading his inability.
“But who will allow me meet the DC Sahib amid this curfew?” this reporter argued. And the helpline responded: “No worries. You can contact him on his mobile phone 9419000744 or you can even call SSP Sahib on 9419000810. They can decide the case. The duo is always there to help out the people.”
Lastupdate on : Sat, 20 Jul 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 20 Jul 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 21 Jul 2013 00:00:00 IST
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