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Armed forces charged Rs 500 crore for rescue operations in Kashmir

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The armed forces have charged the state of Jammu and Kashmir Rs 500 crore for their relief and rescue operations during the devastating deluge of September last year, a media report said Monday.

To pay the Defence Ministry, NDTV said, the Centre diverted money from Rs. 1,602 crore given to Jammu and Kashmir as part of the State Disaster Response Fund.

The deluge, which had wreaked havoc even in Srinagar, summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, had killed 300 people and displaced one-and-a-half million.

The forces, which included the Army as well, rescued people from various flood-hit areas and air-dropped food supplies in an operation they called “Megh Rahat”.

However, locals accused the forces of being selective in their rescue efforts.

People took to social networking websites and told journalists that the forces rescued only tourists from various Indian states, VIPs and politicians.

“A letter dated February 6, 2015, from the home ministry to the state government on central assistance, lists “payment of Air Bills for airdropping of essential supplies and rescue (tentative Rs. 500 crore) as per actual, based on the bills raised by the ministry of defence,” NDTV reported.

The state government has been demanding a rehabilitation package on the likes of one Rs 44, 000 crore already submitted by then NC-Congress government, the Centre recently announced Rs 551 crore for rebuilding of damaged houses.

The trade bodies and opposition parties and some senior PDP leaders have termed the package as a “cruel joke, and a pittance”.

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