Protests engulf Sunderbani after fire damages 2 business establishments

Traders close market for hours, seek establishment of fire station office
Protests engulf Sunderbani after fire damages 2 business establishments
GK Photo

Rajouri, May 15: Strong protests erupted in Sunderbani town of Rajouri after two business establishments were gutted with traders of the area keeping the market closed for over three hours demanding a permanent fire station office in their town.

As per locals, an incident of fire was reported in Sunderbani town on the intervening night of Sunday and Monday in which a three-storey glass and hardware store caught fire. The structure got engulfed in flames which spread to another electrical shop located adjacent to it and both the business establishments were gutted in the incident.

Locals claimed that with tireless efforts, people of the area, police personnel, and BSF carried out firefighting operations and prevented flames from spreading to nearby shops. People of the area, however, expressed their anger over the failure of the Government to establish a fire station in their area and said that the demand is three decades old but has been ignored and people of the Sunderbani subdivision are still waiting to get their basic demand for fire station fulfilled.

On Monday morning, strong protests erupted in town with traders closing their business establishments and taking out a protest rally and sitting on dharna on Highway Chowk Sunderbani.

Locals demanded the establishment of a fire station at Sunderbani, and said that successive Governments have paid no concern to this genuine demand.

 “We have suffered a loss worth several crores in fire incidents during the last three decades and this entire loss had happened only due to the unavailability of the fire station,” traders said while addressing the protesters at Sunderbani Chowk.

Initially, Additional Deputy Commissioner Sunderbani, Additional Superintendent of Police Nowshera and other officers tried to pacify the protesters assuring that the matter for the establishment of the fire station at Sunderbani has been taken up with the concerned department in Government but people refused to lift their dharna unless there is some concrete redressal of their grievance.

Later, Deputy Commissioner Rajouri Vikas Kundal reached the site of the protest and met with protesters informing them that the concerned Government department has approved the deployment of a fire tender at Sunderbani. He further assured that the demand of the public is being fulfilled.

On Deputy Commissioner’s assurance, the protest was called off by the people from the area. Deputy Commissioner Rajouri Vikas Kundal assured proper deployment of fire tenders.

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