Udhampur: Refuting charges as "malicious and insidious" that preference was being given to tourists and out of state residents in their rescue efforts, Army on Monday said it is committed to the task at hand and does not discriminate on the basis of caste, religion, creed or region.
"Northern Command categorically refutes these charges as malicious and insidious (that Army in their rescue efforts, has been giving preference to tourists and out of state residents)", a senior Army officer said here.
Over the last few days, some individuals have been spreading the such rumours, he said.
In Jammu and Kashmir, the Army has launched spontaneous rescue operations as the first responders across the entire state, the officer said.
Rescue efforts were carried out without any regional distinction, in the highest traditions of the Indian Armed Forces, and the newspapers, social media and electronic media are providing ample evidence of the same, he added.
"Indian Army is committed to the task at hand and does not discriminate on the basis of caste, religion, creed or region", the officer stressed.
In this humanitarian crisis, our boat patrols worked tirelessly through extremely difficult conditions, and the identity of the beleaguered members of the Awaam (people) was neither possible nor practical to ascertain during the rescue, he said.
These rescue efforts have now been joined by local volunteers, which is a welcome step, and were always launched in close concert with the civil administration and police, he said.
"Not a single specific case has been reported where persons were denied rescue or relief because of their ethnicity, region or social status," he said.
"It is pertinent to mention that large parts of the state were addressed by our teams throughout this mammoth rescue and relief effort, including South Kashmir and Jammu region, wherein the population was primarily local residents. The statistics speak for themselves.
"A difficult and challenging task lies ahead where everyone will require to work together to mitigate the effects of the natural disaster which struck the state", the officer said.
Belittling the efforts of those who have sought to bring relief to the people will only distract from this important task at hand, he said.