Saleem Iqbal Qadri

Fire destroys eleven shops in Handwara

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HANDWARA, JANUARY 09: At least eleven shops were destroyed in a midnight blaze in Handwara town of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district last night.

According to reports, fire started from one wooden shop during the midnight of Wednesday from Madina Market in Handwara and soon engulfed the nearby wooden shops and damaged them completely.

"I received a call from one of my colleague informing me that fire has engulfed many shops in the town following which I rushed towards the site. Two fire tenders were dousing the fire with the help of police and locals," said a local, Ali Mohammed Dar.

“The cause of fire was not immediately known,” said a police official, he however said that police has constituted a team to investigate the matter.

Deputy Commissioner (DC) Kupwara, Khalid Jehangir, told Kashmir Images that district administration will distribute relief fund among the affected shopkeepers from Red Cross Fund.

“We will request the government to provide more compensation for the shopkeepers whose shops have got damaged in the fire,” DC added.

Meanwhile, President Traders Federation Handwara, Aijaz Ahmad Sofi, said: "We request the governor and People's Conference Chief, Sajad Gani Lone, to release immediate relief for the shopkeepers who lost everything to the mysterious fire.”

Police have identified the owners whose shops have got damaged as Bashir Ahmad Gojree, Zafar Ahmad Bhat, Mushtaq Ahmad Bhat, Dilshada Begum, Gh Mohammad Dar, Tariq Ahmad Teli, Ab Rehman Aga , Mohd Ramzan, Bilal Ahmad Mir, Gulzar Ahmad Kalo and Abdul Rashid Dar.

According to initial official estimate, the cost of damage is above 50 lakh rupees.

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