CRPF bunker at Amira Kadal demolished after 26 years

Residents and businessmen heave a sigh of relief

Srinagar, Publish Date: Dec 12 2018 1:50AM | Updated Date: Dec 12 2018 1:50AM
CRPF bunker at Amira Kadal demolished after 26 yearsMubashir Khan/ GK

Authorities on Tuesday demolished a central reserve police force bunker 26 years after it was set up in the busy Hari Singh High Street market here.

Residents of the area and businessmen hailed the move, saying they had been demanding removal of the CRPF bunker for long.

“There was a fear in our minds from the past three decades due to the presence of this bunker. Many incidents happened near this bunker in which many precious lives were lost,” said Qazi Munir-ud-Din, a resident of the area.

Residents and businessmen watched with delight as the bunker which they said standing on Auqaf land was being demolished. 

According to official records, around 84 government forces’ camps and bunkers were removed across Jammu and Kashmir since January 2009, the highest number, 22 in 2010 when government forces’ action during a public uprising that year left over 120 dead.

Most of the camps and bunkers were removed from summer capital Srinagar during the NC-Congress regime, while about eight such structures were vacated during the PDP-BJP regime.

In 2010, an all-party parliamentary delegation that visited the state following wide scale street agitation, recommended reducing the footprint of security forces in various areas, especially in Srinagar.

On Tuesday, as commuters witnessed bunker being demolished, Mushtaq Ahmad, a local reside recollected how children used to bathe and cool themselves in the Jhelum summers before this bunker was established. 

General Secretary, Auqaf Idara-e- Gousia Sarai Bala, Mehraj-ud-Wani thanked the authorities for demolishing the bunker.

“We are very happy today. It was a long-pending demand. We had to face a number of issues because of this bunker. We had to block the road to offer funeral prayers during deaths in the area. Now we have reclaimed our space,” he said.

A prominent fisherwoman who has been vending at the Amira Kadal bridge for over three decades also recalled existence of a mosque and a pier before the bunker was established.

“A grenade once hurled at the bunker bounced back from my fish basket and hit an auto-rickshaw. Luckily, I was saved by God. I feel very happy today,” said the fisherwoman popularly called Jigger Maas.

A process of removing some bunkers in Srinagar started in 2017, after CRPF authorities agreed with the state government to move from some areas for beautification of the summer capital.

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