India issues nuclear alert to Kashmiris

In an ad in an English-language paper police advise Kashmiris in Srinigar to set up underground bunkers and stockpile food. Photo / AP
In an ad in an English-language paper police advise Kashmiris in Srinigar to set up underground bunkers and stockpile food. Photo / AP

Pity the people of Kashmir. Days after a series of cross-border shootings left Indian and Pakistani soldiers dead, police on the Indian side of the Line of Control have warned residents to prepare for nuclear war.

In an advert placed in an English language newspaper, police warned people in Srinagar to build underground bunkers equipped with toilets, collect two weeks' food and water and ensure they have a supply of candles, torches and a radio.

"If the blast wave does not arrive within five seconds of the flash, you were far enough from the ground zero," says the notice, headed Protection against Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Weapons, that appeared in the Greater Kashmir newspaper.

Local officials said the warning was part of routine civil defence preparedness measures that are carried out throughout the year. But several local people said they were concerned that the advertisement was unnecessarily creating tension.

The warning comes after the Indian and Pakistani armies agreed to halt cross-border firing that had threatened to unravel a fragile peace process in place along the so-called Line of Control since 2003.

The notice describes what might happen in the circumstances of a nuclear exchange. The advice warns drivers they should dive out of their cars and towards the blast, lest the vehicle be thrown into the air and fall on them.

- Independent

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