Skirts MLA’s specific query on who damaged them
Jammu: To a written question of a lawmaker, asking the government whether government forces damaged power transformers during last year’s uprising, deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh said that 368 transformers were damaged, without stating by whom.
Replying to NC Legislator Abdul Majeed Larmi’s question, who also asked about the number of such transformers in his Homshali Bugh constituency—he was told 14—Singh said all damaged transformers were repaired at the cost of Rs 1.55 crore.
As per the data provided by the government, Sopore tops the list with 76 damaged transformers followed by Shopian with 52, Budgam 41,Srinagar 33, Baramulla 28, 27 in Anantnag, 25 in Kulgam, 24 in Bijbehra, 17 in Awantipora, 14 in Handwara, 12 in Pulwama, six in Tangmarg, five in Kupwara and three in Ganderbal.
During the uprising, people in these areas had accused the government forces, especially CRPF, of damaging transformers. Newspapers published pictures of many transformers that had bullet marks. Depriving people of electricity was, according to people, a form of collective punishment.
Recently, the government absolved government forces of vandalising homes and public properties during the uprising.