In a bid to ease tension in violence-hit Handwara town of north Kahsmir, the municipal authorities on Tuesday removed three security force bunkers from the main market. Law and order situation in the town remains fragile after protests erupted last week over the allegations that one girl student was molested by soldiers posted in an army picket. Five persons were killed in a firing by security forces, including by J&K Police.
“Three bunkers, which were constructed on top of shops in Handwara main market, have been removed by municipal authorities,” a police official said.
“This bunker will also be demolished and the task will be completed by 2 PM today,” the official said. The municipal authorities have also erected a board on the premises of the bunker, marking the place for conversion into a public park, the official added.
According to the reports, local residents of the North Kashmir town had been demanding removal of the bunkers for quite sometime but the Army reasoned placement of bunkers, saying it was strategically important for the troops. However, the demand for removal of these bunkers intensified after last week’s violence, which began here spreading to even Srinagar.
Meanwhile, curfew-like restrictions were relaxed in violence-hit Handwara town for four hours today but authorities hinted that restrictions may be eased for longer duration if situation improves. On the other hand, restrictions remained in force in Kupwara and Trehgam towns of north Kashmir.
“Restrictions have been relaxed for four hours in Handwara town from 8 to 12 Noon. The relaxation period can be extended if the situation remains peaceful,” a police official said, adding that the situation in violence-hit town has peaceful so far.
However, there was no relaxation in the curbs on the movement of the people in Kupwara and Trehgam towns in view of apprehension of violence.
The restrictions were eased yesterday for three hours but had to be clamped again following violent protests.
(With inputs from the PTI)