Mobile Bunkers To Replace CRPF Pickets

Mobile Bunkers To Replace CRPF Pickets

22 April 2012
Rising Kashmir
Wasim Khalid

Srinagar: Even as major bunkers have been removed from some areas of Srinagar, they would continue to remain under vigil of CRPF’s mobile bunkers, raising questions on the state government claims of making the summer capital a bunker-free city. The CRPF has also maintained that bunker removal process has been put on halt and that discussions are going on whether to remove some strategic bunkers or not. Inspector General of CRPF (Srinagar), Ravi Prakash said they would be maintaining strict vigilance by intensifying the patrolling and deploying mobile bunkers at the spots where from the bunkers have been removed. “It is not like that we have completely vacated the areas where from the bunkers are being removed. We would keep them under constant watch by deploying mobile bunkers,” IG CRPF told Rising Kashmir. He said the mobile bunkers, manned by several CRPF personnel, will be responsible to maintain law and order. CRPF has also acquired specially designed bullet proof bunkers. “We have got a new fleet of 10 BP bunkers. They are specially designed to allow our men stay for longer duty hours. They are fitted with air conditioners, spacious and comfortable enough for Jawans,” said Prakash. He said there are 22 Battalions of CRPF deployed in Srinagar for escort duty, counter-insurgency and maintaining law and order in the city. The IG said they remove the bunkers only after being provided alternate accommodation. About the other bunkers proposed to be removed, Prakash said the process has been put on halt. “There are discussions going on whether to remove some strategic bunkers or not,” he added. Pertinently, the state government has a proposal to remove 20 more bunkers. On Friday a two-decade-old bunker was removed from erstwhile Palladium cinema at Lal Chowk. According to officials, there are 368 bunkers in Srinagar after 39 of them were removed in a phased manner over the course of one year. These include live bunkers (permanent structures), make-shift bunkers, and mobile bunkers (vehicle). Minister of State, Nasir Aslam Wani has been saying that the government wanted to turn Srinagar into a bunker-free city. CRPF has been assisting state police in maintenance of law and order in Srinagar and other towns. There are 60 battalions of CRPF stationed in Kashmir with most of them posted in Srinagar. Speaking on the recent killing of an Assistant Sub Inspector of police in old city, IG CRPF said, “We have asked our personnel to remain on alert. Militancy is not over as yet.”