Ahead of foreign envoys’ visit govt removes bunkers in Srinagar

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Scores of government forces’ bunkers in the summer capital of the erstwhile state were removed on Tuesday.

Workers were seen in various parts of the city, including main crossings, manually dismantling a few bunkers and barricades. After the August 2019 clampdown, the government forces had established more bunkers in a city already dotted by the presence of the government forces.

An unnamed senior security official told a local news agenc 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.

This has coincided with the visit of a group of diplomats and ambassadors from the European Union (EU). Ugo Astuto, an EU ambassador, is expected to lead a delegation to Jammu and Kashmir (J-K). The visit, which was called a “guided tour” by a former chief minister of J-K Omar Abdullah, will reportedly begin with Srinagar. It is aimed at studying the “situation on the ground”, reported The Hindu.

The earlier visit in October 2019 had attracted criticism for the visitors’ hand-picking by New Delhi as the clampdown continued after the abrogation of the erstwhile state’s limited-autonomy.

The report quoted the officials in the administration saying that the arrangements are being made for about twenty Ambassadors and diplomats.

The Jammu and Kashmir Ittihadul Muslimeen (JKIM) president Maulana Masroor Ansari termed the delegation’s visit to Kashmir as a “futile” move.

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