IAF chopper leaves relief material,picks politicians to fire victims

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Jammu, Oct 24 (UNI) An IAF chopper, which had to carry relief material to the otherwise unapproachable victims of Margi fire in Marwah area of Kishtwar district, today left the essential commodities and carried politicians to the site, official sources said.

The officials engaged in relief distribution told UNI, one of the two MI-17 helicopters of IAF, which were assigned to take essential commodities for hundreds of fire victims carried two politicians from Kishtwar in place of relief.

''The relief material, which was to be carried for the fire victims, was unloaded at Kishtwar from where former Power Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Sharief Niaz and Ghulam Haider Shiekh, MLC, were carried to Marwah, this morning,'' they said.

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, accompanied by Law and Finance Minister Tariq Hameed Qarra, however, rushed to the spot on a private chopper, they asserted.

On Monday night, a huge fire had caused the devastation in a remote and hilly Margi village, about 250 kms north of Jammu. Over 160 wooden hutments were reduced to ashes while more than 100 people were injured in the incident, police said.

As it takes at least two days to reach the affected village, road up to Marwah and thereafter on foot, administration had decided to provide relief through air service.

Besides senior civil servants, who rushed to the village after hearing the news through the media, politicians also swung into action ''to take stock of sitiuation''.

''The increased VVIP movement is forcing officials engaged in rescue operations give more priority to politicians over the victims,'' an officer rued anonymously.

UNI

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