Govt, army refused help to orphans during floods: SC panel

Srinagar: Contrary to their claims, the district administration and army failed to rescue at least 50 orphans and several staffers of an orphanage, who were caught in the floods last months in Jawahar Nagar here.
This has been disclosed in a report prepared by a Supreme Court appointed panel that visited Jawahar Nagar locality and met the representatives of J&K Yateem Foundation, who had established a relief camp on the bund. Kashmir High Court Bar Association president, advocate Mian Abdul Qayoom, who is also one of the panel members, has quoted in the report the camp in-charge as saying that there were 50 boys in their orphanage and that army as well as the administration did not rescue them when they sought their help.
The other members of the panel included Suresh Kumar Sharma (Registrar General J&K High Court), M K Bhaderwaj (president Bar Association Jammu), Sanjay Aggarwal (Director Disaster Management, Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi) and Vinod Kaul (Secretary J&K Revenue Relief and Rehabilitation).
The camp in-charge, according to the report, said that later they brought boats from Budgam and other places and rescued those 50 boys along with the employees of the Foundation and other people who had entered the orphanage for shelter.
The unnamed camp in-charge told the SC panel that the Foundation provided medicines worth Rs 30 lakh to the affected people, as government hadn’t established any medical camp in the area.
“Farooq Ahmad and Fazal Haq (two former Chief Engineers) were also coming to the camp during this time for taking food etc. Some NDRF people who were in the camp at the time of our visit told us that they have been taking food in the camp, ever since they came in the area,” the report says.
The camp was established on September 11, four days after the floods, where food to at least 2,000 people was provided twice in the initial days. The camp had received 40 bags of rice from the government. The relief material had come from villages.
The camp in-charge also told the panel that besides giving blankets to the affected people, the Foundation identified 500 families in Jawahar Nagar, who were provided food and water secretly because they couldn’t come to their camp for various reasons.
“They said that after three days of flood, army came here and rescued some people,” says the report, which has been submitted separately before the apex court.