Bunker Removal Process Starts In Srinagar5 October 2010
Times of India
Srinagar: The CRPF on Wednesday started the process of removing bunkers from Srinagar as part of the Centre's eight-point formula to defuse tensions in Kashmir. The Valley has been on the boil since the killing of over 100 people, including women and children, in security forces firing since June 11. The Centre announced the formula after an all-party delegation's visit to the Valley to defuse crisis last month. CRPF DG (J&K zone) N K Tripathi said the paramilitary force removed nine bunkers out of 16 pickets identified for removal in the first phase. Srinagar has dozens of bunkers and are believed to be the main source of friction with the residents. The bunkers, mostly outside schools and hospitals, were identified at a unified command meeting of various security agencies convened as a follow up to the formula on September 29. The residents welcomed the move. 'Though the removal of bunkers is symbolic, but it has come as a great relief for the people. There is a need to remove rest of the pickets as well,' said Srinagar-resident Manzoor Ahmad. Another resident, Nazir Ahmad Bhat said, 'We can now move without identity cards in our locality at least.' But many like businessman Ghulam Rasool Mir are sceptical. 'The authorities only removed bunkers with little utility. They haven't removed, for instance, a CRPF camp inside a residential house in Srinagar's Batamallo area,' he said. The state government has also constituted two panels of senior police and Army officers in Srinagar and Jammu to identify areas, where the draconian Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act can be revoked as part of the formula. The Centre would also appoint a group of interlocutors to hold a sustained dialogue with various shades of opinion in the state.