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Kashmiriyat: Local Kashmiris rescue soldiers after accident

What complicated the matter?was a low-lying, high-tension wire overhead. Photograph: (Getty)

DNA Srinagar Oct 10, 2016, 04.47 AM (IST)

At a time when all of Kashmir is up in arms against New Delhi, a group of Kashmiris have risked their lives to rescue army men who met with a road accident at Pantha Chowk-Lasjan on the outskirts of Srinagar on Sunday morning.

An army truck with at least 12 soldiers on board skidded off the road and hit a large tree, causing injuries to some jawans. What complicated the matter was a low-lying, high-tension wire overhead.

As the soldiers struggled to get out, a group of locals rushed towards the truck to help. They disconnected the high-tension wire, pulled out the soldiers and transported them to hospital in a civilian truck.

The Indian army was quick to acknowledge the gesture and thank the locals for their help. "Army thanks the local youth for rescue of soldiers stuck in accident vehicle near Pantha Chowk Srinagar," the Indian army's northern command tweeted.

Army spokesperson Colonel Rajesh Kalia told DNA that the army is thankful to the locals for the humanitarian and heart-warming gesture. "It will further strengthen the bond of friendship between the awam (people) and the jawan (soldier)," he said.

An amateur video of the incident, shot apparently with a cell phone, went viral on social networking sites despite the mobile internet blockade in Kashmir. 

The National Conference, the main Opposition party in the state, said the gesture by the locals is an ideal example of Kashmiriyat (which translates roughly to Kashmiri-ness). "Kashmiris always valued the Kashmiryat. And this gesture proves it once again. Kashmiris have always upheld human values," said Nasir Aslam Wani, NC provincial president and former J&K minister of state of home.

Wani added that the perception being created about Kashmiris is completely incorrect. "Kashmir has always maintained high human values. Even during partition Kashmir upheld this motive of humanity. However, in the current unrest the government has waged war against its own people," he said.

This is not the first time locals have risked their lives to save others in the current unrest which has claimed over 87 lives so far.

On July 13 a group of local Muslims defied the curfew to rescue a group of Amarnath yatris, who had met with an accident at Sangam on the Srinagar-Jammu highway in the volatile Anantnag district. Two people including a Kashmiri driver and pilgrim were killed and 22 others suffered injuries after their bus hit another vehicle head-on in the middle of the night.


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