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Moving images in J&K as first phone calls go out to PoK

October 19, 2005 23:13 IST
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A son's face wore ear-to-ear smile as he heard on telephone that his mother survived the October 8 quake.

A man desperately tried to dial his mother wanting her back home so his sister starts eating again while a brother was in gloom as he failed to contact his sister.

These were the images at telephone centres which went into operation Wednesday in Jammu and Kashmir enabling people to get through to know the fate of their loved ones caught in the earthquake.

This was the first time since 1987 that calls could be made from Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan after India had snapped the facility in the wake of the eruption of militancy in the state.

The first phone call at 1315 hrs IST was made by Abdul Gani, who came from Basbpora in Baramulla, 60 kilometres from Srinagar, to the temporary telecom centre set up at the Police Control room. He called his uncle in PoK and was relieved to know all his relatives had survived the quake.

Farooq Ahmad, a resident of Srinagar, however, was not as lucky as he was unable to reach his sister in PoK. Ahmad had received information about the death of five of his relatives in the quake.

Fayaz Ahmad Bhat could not contact his mother Fatima who had gone to Muzaffarabad by Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus on September 8 to see her father.

"I have not been able to speak to my mother as she has been shifted to a camp but my relatives told me that she is all right," a visibly happy Bhat told PTI.

Bhat, who too had come from Tangmarg in Baramulla district, was speaking to his relative in Muzaffarabad, he tried to impress upon him that it was necessary that his mother return home at the earliest.

"When you meet her, tell her that choti (younger sister of Bhat) is not eating anything as she wants to know about her well-being. Don't hold her back anymore. Send her home at the earliest," Bhat told the relative.

BSNL has set up two telephones at every telecom point for calls free of charge for a fortnight for the benefit of divided families across the line of control.

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