The Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) on Tuesday used a bulldozer to demolish a CRPF bunker constructed soon after the onset of militancy in 1992 at the busy Hari Singh High Street in Srinagar.
Local residents and businessmen have hailed the move which they said was their long-pending demand.
“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 where many precious lives were lost,” said a local resident Qazi Munir-ud-Din.
He alleged that the CRPF personnel manning the bunker opened fire several times in the past thirty years, leading to civilian killings.
Din and other locals and businessmen who had gathered at the spot were elated to watch the demolition of the bunker, which they said was constructed on the Auqaf land.
“Children used to take a bathe in the Jhelum to cool themselves off during the summers before this bunker was established. There was a small mosque too where we would offer prayers,” he recollected.
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 from past over three decades said there was 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, nick named ‘jigger Mass’.
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