Shops up in flames ‘after burglary’ in Sopore

Shops up in flames ‘after burglary’ in Sopore
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Traders Federation calls for shutdown on Wednesday

Sopore: Around two dozen shops including a restaurant were gutted on Tuesday morning at General Bus Stand Sopore, in what police and traders suspect to be handiwork of burglars.
“Looking at the situation there was an attempt of burglary but the main motive was to create disturbance in the area by setting some particular shops ablaze in which almost two dozen shops were gutted,” Superintendent of Police Sopore, Harmeet Singh said.
Property and goods worth crores was destroyed in the blaze that engulfed shops dealing in hosiery, plastic goods and other products.
“We noticed the smoke at around 5:30 am in the early morning and soon there were huge flames erupting from some of the shops,” a shopkeeper residing nearby said.
Fire tenders rushed to the spot and doused the flames along with the help of police and locals and saved the remaining structures.
No causality was reported in the incident.
Shops of Mushtaq Ahmed Lara, Abdul Rashid Khan and Manzoor Ahmed Khan, Mohammad Amin Moona and Mohammad Altaf Tara and several others were gutted in the incident.
A delegation of members of traders federation Sopore led by Haji Mohammad Ashraf Ganai called for a shutdown on Wednesday against the civil administration for “failing” to stop the increasing thefts in the town.
“More than 20 shops and a restaurant were gutted which was first looted by burglars then set ablaze, in which property worth lakhs were destroyed,” Ganai said in a press conference. “The local administration of Sopore is giving us tough time as they have completely failed to stop increasing rate of theft cases in the town.
He added that the administration has failed to save the town from miscreants “who are not only burning shops but looting as well.”
“It appears to be planned to burn shops at three different places in Sopore, even the failed attempt to burn the traders federation office was made last night,” Ganai said while appealing people of Sopore to observe a complete shutdown on Wednesday.
Police said two FIRs (2/2018 and 3/2018) have been registered in the burglary and blaze incidents.