May 13, 2021

Kashmir InFocus

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Srinagar observed Shutdown upon EU delegation’s visit, Bunkers vanished overnight from Srinagar

Military Bunkers vanish overnight in Srinagar

Lal Chowk, the commercial nerve center of Kashmir’s main city Srinagar, observed a shutdown on Wednesday as a delegation of foreign envoys, including ambassadors and diplomats from the European Union, arrived in the city.

Markets in the city’s central hub were shut and traffic maintained a thin movement.

Several parts of Srinagar’s downtown also remained shut while government forces’ personnel were deployed in the Nowhatta area. The security deployment was heavy and a large number of the government force’ personnel patrolled the city.

The delegation led by Ugo Astuto, an EU ambassador, arrived in Kashmir on a two-day visit and is scheduled to meet government-picked delegations.

This is the third visit of foreign envoys since the limited-autonomy of the erstwhile state was abrogated in August 2019.

Omar Abdullah, former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, called this visit a “guided tour” while the Jammu and Kashmir Ittihadul Muslimeen (JKIM) president Maulana Masroor Ansari termed the delegation’s visit to Kashmir as a “futile” move.

Meanwhile Mehbooba Mufti, former chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief said that the delegations will come and go but the fact remains that the situation isn’t favorable in Jammu and Kashmir.

Prior to their arrival, scores of government forces’ bunkers and barricades were dismantled across the city.

The delegation will be reportedly meeting civil society members in Budgam today and also touring Dal lake and Dargah mosque.

Meanwhile, In a significant development, a series of bunkers were removed from various parts of Srinagar city ahead of the visit of European Union delegation, officials said.

A senior security official told news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that the bunkers were removed to ease out the traffic in Srinagar areas including Moulana Azad Road, Rajabagh and other areas.

“We decided to remove some makeshift bunkers that were erected for frisking and other security-related issues,” the official said.

At least five bunkers were removed from Srinagar areas of which two were lifted from Lal Chowk, Srinagar. A local said that a bunker was lifted at MA Road and also at Rajbagh area.

Of late, Srinagar city has been witnessing gridlocks forcing the traffic cops to work hard to ensure smooth flow of traffic in the city.

The commuters have been complaining of frequent traffic jams within city especially Lal Chowk and other areas.