Old City residents welcome removal of CRPF bunker 

Srinagar: Residents of Zoonimar and Saidpora are heaving a sigh of relief as the CRPF bunker-cum-camp has finally been dismantled after thirty long years.

The camp was situated on Dr. Ali Jan Road, just in the between two areas of Srinagar city and the locals since then struggled to make authorities relocate the bunker.

While recalling the early times, Bilal Ahmad, a resident of Saidapora said that during 90’s there used to be frequent frisking of the residents of both the areas, even if they were on their way to meet their relatives who lived in another area, “during those days, it was a public nuisance, it was not a good idea even for commuters, during those days, to take this route to reach their destinations,” he said.

The bunker proved to be detrimental during 2016 uprising, in which the forces stationed used to go on rampage whenever there was a minor incident of stone pelting.

“It was frightening to have a bunker just outside your home, and during the times of unrest, we used to be the immediate victims, living next door,” he says.

The bunker as of now remains dismantled, with walls on which sentences like “Bharat Kashmir Se Lekay Kaniyakumari Tak Aik Hai,” also lying dismantled in the rubble.

The bunker had occupied a good space on the road side, just on the banks of a canal which connects Khushal sar with Anchar sar, with enough concrete and make shift structures erected within the space.

“It has been a respite for us that the bunker has been dismantled, now we can move out easily, which earlier seemed to be impossible, especially post stone pelting incidents,” said Umar Fayaz, a resident of Zoonimar.

Umar recalls the incident which occurred during 2016 when during the evening hours there were incidents of stone pelting, and after the frenzy was over, biker who happened to pass through the road was stopped and beaten to pulp, “it was all fine, stone pelting was over, and then a person happened to pass through the bunker, in a jiffy he was stopped by the personnel who were stationed there, for no fault of his, he was beaten to pulp and his bike broken into pieces,” he said, adding that the person had to run for his life, “otherwise, that day he would have been killed,” he said.

Work of dismantling the structure is still going on, with people from other areas coming to see the scene, to see how the space looks like, minus the bunker.

“I heard in the morning that the bunker has been dismantled, I don’t know why, but it felt good, kind of happy,” said Bashir Ahmad, a resident of Wanganpora.

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