Bunkers affect Sopur life, trade
UMER MAQBOOL DAR
Sopur, Nov 13: Residents of this apple town in North Kashmir are facing inconvenience due to the “obtrusive” presence of heavily-fortified bunkers of paramilitary CRPF at various busy points.
“The bunkers in the main town are causing us immense hardships and even pose a constant threat to the lives of pedestrians,” they told Greater Kashmir.
“Scores of people have died in grenade attacks. Had there been no bunkers, these unfortunate incidents wouldn’t have taken places,” said a resident, Nazir Ahmed.
According to locals, the presence of CRPF bunkers in Bus Stand, Iqbal Market and Shah Faisal Market was creating nuisance for pedestrians and traders.
“In most towns across the Kashmir valley, the bunkers and camps are located in peripheries, but here it is vice-versa. We are just asking removal of these bunkers from roadsides,” said Abdul Gani Mir.
Not only the people, but the trading community rue the presence of bunkers as well demanding their early shifting out of the crammed areas.
“Our business has been badly hit by CRPF presence as customers desist from shopping. The fear of death always lurks on us and on the minds of customers,” said a shopkeeper, Farooq Ahmed, pointing towards the bunker covered by layers of wire mesh at the busy Iqbal Market.
Facing the Bus Stand ahead of the Market, the large concrete bunker with armoured vehicles parked on its front gives horrible look. More frightening is the cluster of mud bunkers at Shah Faisal Market.
When contacted, a senior police official said on condition of anonymity that the presence of these bunkers was necessity for the security of town and CRPF camps.
Pertinently, earlier in August this year, the CRPF had dismantled its bunkers in the Jamia Qadeem area at which the locals had heaved a sigh of relief.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 13 Nov 2009 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 13 Nov 2009 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 14 Nov 2009 00:00:00 IST
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