Deployed in Valley under lockdown, central forces too wait to call home

Prohibitory orders were relaxed, but the security lockdown continued in Srinagar on Monday. (Express Photo: Shuaib Masoodi)

The communication blockade in Kashmir, with cellphones, Internet and landline connections still obstructed for the eighth day on Monday, has also left thousands of men of the central forces unable to contact their families.

At Zero Bridge checkpoint in Srinagar, two CRPF men, standing next to the concertina wire blocking the road, say they last spoke to their families on August 4. “There is no way to communicate with our families. It has been a week now,’’ says a CRPF man who does not want to be identified.

A few hundred metres ahead, a CRPF man from UP is sitting on a bench, talking to three local children. “It has been tiring,’’ he says. “I have tried everything. I have been asking everyone if there is a way to make a phone call home,’’ he says. “We have been out since 5 am, standing here. By the time we go back to the camp, it will be evening. There aren’t any phones working. Everybody (in the camp) has the same complaint. There is no way to contact home,’’ he says.

Read | Kashmir Valley has seen many a lockdown but why this time it is so different

A policeman from the local police station is with him. He says that he and his colleagues are also unable to contact their families. “Those of us who are living in the city too haven’t been able to go home. We have no idea what is happening at home,’’ he…

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