Give us underground bunkers, construct Sadhna tunnel to save us: Karnah residents urge J&K Govt

‘Stage demo in Srinagar, say 60,000 lives at high risk of shelling from across’

Srinagar, Feb 21: A group of Sarpanchs from remote area of Karnah in northern district of Kupwara on Friday staged a protest in Srinagar to press for construction of underground bunkers and Sadhana tunnel. They said that at least 60,000 residents of Karnah face direct impact of shelling from across the Line of Control (LoC).

According to wire service—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), a group of Sarpanchs from Karnah, Kupwara told reporters at Press Enclave today that continued shelling from Pakistan was taking a heavy toll on residents of Karnah because the government was dilly-dallying on the construction underground bunkers in the area.

One of the Sarpanchs, Khalid Badana said the lives of 60,000 residents of the area have been a hell due to continued shelling from Pakistan and urged the government to construct underground bunkers on a war footing.

“A few weeks back there was shelling from Pakistan and all of us were praying for our lives,’’ he told KNO.

He said they recently held a meeting a divisional commissioner Baseer Khan and apprised him of the problems faced by them.

He said Khan promised them the government would construct bunkers for the people in Karnah but the work is yet to start.

He said they want the government provide at least three to four underground bunkers to residents in every panchayat halqa.

“Either the government should construct a bunker in every house or build at least four in every panchayat halqa,’’ he said.

Another Sarpanch Abdul Hamid said the residents of people of Karanah are highly vulnerable to get killed or maimed by Pakistan. “Our lives, livestock and property is always at risk,’’ Hamid said. “There are regular ceasefire violations in our area and either, people and cattle get killed or property is damaged.”

He said the government of Indian and Pakistan must revert back to ceasefire.

“In 2003, there was a ceasefire and got a lot relief,’’ he said.

He said Karanah remains cut off from rest of the world in winter and the government must now act on their demand to construct a tunnel at Sadna Top to provide unhindered connectivity between Karnah and the rest of Kashmir.