Fire guts three shops, people stage protest

Three shops located in the main market Palma were reduced to ashes on early Wednesday morning, leading to losses worth lakhs of rupees.

The locals said, “In the wee hours of Wednesday, flames erupted from three shops located in the main market Palma. The situation turned panicky and chaos gripped the entire area.”

All the shops belonged to one Anil Kumar, they said.

Officials said, “Soon after information of the fire was received, fire tenders and fire fighters from Rajouri fire station, led by Fire Station Officer Maqbool Hussain rushed to the spot and launched an operation. After around two hours, the flames were brought under control.”

The Fire Station Officer said, “Although the three shops suffered heavy damages, but we managed to prevent the fire from spreading to nearby structures.”

Meanwhile, the shop owner, his relatives and other locals staged a protest on Wednesday morning and blocked the Rajouri-Kotranka road for over two hours.

They claimed, “Last year as well, a fire erupted in the same shops and the owner suffered serious losses. On Wednesday, he suffered losses again. Inspite of three shops being completely gutted, no official from the civil administration visited the spot.”

They also demanded financial aid for the shop owner.

After one-and-a-half hour-long protest, the Station House Officer, Rajouri, Ajaz Haider, and Naib Tehsildar visited the spot and pacified the protesters.

Later, a deputation of residents also called on senior officers of the district administration.