Srinagar: Government forces have damaged 63 power transformers in district Baramulla. A senior official of the Power Development Department (PDD), wishing to be not named, said that 42 transformers have been damaged with bullets fired by government troops in areas of Sopore/Patten sub-division, of which the department has repaired 22 transformers. Five transformers have been damaged with bullets in Tangmarg sub-division, of which two have been repaired and the other three are in workshops. The official said that 17 transformers bore bullet holes in sub-division Baramulla of which six have been repaired and six are in different workshops. Four transformers damaged in old town Baramulla are yet to be lifted for repair.
The official further said that a 6.3 MVA power-receiving station located at Panzgam in Sopore was also damaged by bullets and is still in a workshop. Dozens of villages in Panzgam are still without electricity.
The official said that the repair of 30 transformers is a big achievement because there are no more spare parts available at the workshops and engineers and other staff are unable to reach their workshops every day.
After government forces damaged transformers in several areas of the district, people have started to put up walls of sand bags and stones around the transformers to protect them from bullets. In Sopore, Patten, Kunzar, Singpora, Rafiabad, Sangrama, Narvaw and old town Baramulla, people have shielded dozens of transformers while some people have installed wooden sheets around the transformers to save them from bullets.
Officials of the power department have also appealed to people to save their transformers from any kind of damage because the department is short of spare parts and technical staff. The wooden sheets and sand bags put up by people have been suggested as a shield by the officials themselves.
On Thursday the government forces removed dozens of sand bags from the transformers which had been installed by people in old town Baramulla. After removing the sand bags the troops fired dozens to bullets into four transformers at Banglo Bagh, Azadgunj and Armpora areas, leaving the people once again in the dark.
Mir, a local, said that the police have also arrested a local youth named Asif Gul from his home in old town Baramulla as also his father, Ghulam Mohammad. Mir said that the draconian Public Safety Act (PSA) has been slapped on the duo. Mir said that Asif was wanted by the police but his father Ghulam Mohammad was not involved in any protest. “He is a simple and innocent shopkeeper,” Mir said of Ghulam Mohammad.