Army chief visits violence-hit Valley, curfew-like restrictions lifted from Handwarahttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/handwara-kupwara-violence-army-chief-visits-girl-molestation-curfew-lifted-2760931/

Army chief visits violence-hit Valley, curfew-like restrictions lifted from Handwara

Restrictions were eased in Handwara for four hours from 8 am, two hours after the authorities started demolishing the security force bunkers in the town

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As peace returned after a week, curfew-like restrictions were on Tuesday lifted from Handwara and Kupwara towns, Army Chief Gen Dalbir Singh on Tuesday visited Jammu and Kashmir and Kupwara.

Army Chief Gen Dalbir Singh on Tuesday visited Jammu and Kashmir to review the security situation in the state against the backdrop of civilian killings in Handwara and Kupwara in security forces’ firing.

As peace returned after a week, curfew-like restrictions were on Tuesday lifted from Handwara and Kupwara towns, on a day the authorities gave in to the demand of locals by removing four bunkers of security forces from the epicentre of the unrest that began last Tuesday.

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“General Dalbir Singh, the Chief of Army Staff, accompanied by Northern Army Commander Lt Gen DS Hooda, today visited the Srinagar based Chinar Corps. The Army Chief was briefed by the Corps Commander, Lt Gen Satish Dua, on the overall security situation and the preparedness of Chinar Corps in dealing with emerging challenges,” a defence spokesman said.

The Army Chief also visited Kupwara where he was briefed about the situation along the Line of Control and the hinterland.

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The Army Chief expressed satisfaction at the operational preparedness of the units deployed along the Line of Control and hinterland, the spokesman said.

He said Gen Singh impressed upon all to ensure security in the area.

Restrictions were eased in Handwara for four hours from 8 am, two hours after the authorities started demolishing the security force bunkers in the town, a police official said.

As the four hours passed off peacefully, the relaxation was then extended till 6 pm. The authorities then decided against re-imposing the restrictions, saying there was no law and order problem.

Curfew-like restrictions were imposed in Handwara town and some adjoining areas following violent protests over the alleged molestation of a girl last Tuesday.

In Kupwara and Trehgam towns, the restrictions were lifted at noon following peaceful morning. Earlier in the morning, the municipal authorities of Handwara demolished four security force bunkers from the main market, fulfilling one of the long-pending demands of the
local residents, the official said.

He said the main bunker, located in the round-about of the main market, has also been demolished and taken over by the municipal authorities.

The municipal authorities also erected a board on the premises of the bunker, marking the place for conversion into a public park.

The locals had been demanding removal of the bunkers for quite sometime but the Army had put its foot down, saying it was strategically important for the troops.

However, the demand for removal of these bunkers intensified after last week’s violence triggered by alleged molestation of a girl.

Three persons including a woman were killed in firing by security forces on protestors on Tuesday while two more persons were killed in separate security forces’s action against protestors on Wednesday at Drugmulla and on Friday at Nathnusa.

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