Protest, bandh in Thannamandi; people block road for 6 hrs

Excelsior Correspondent
RAJOURI,  Feb 25: The people from Thannamandi town and adjoining villages held strong protest demonstration against Govt and  blocked  Rajourti-Bafliaz-Poonch road for about six hours today.
Entire Thannamandi town observed complete shut down and people observed day log protest dharna at main Shahdara Chowk, disrupting movement of traffic on the road for long.  They were protesting against the premature  transfer of Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM), Thannamandi Abdul Qayoom Mir. The people were shouting slogans against the  PDP-BJP Government and also against the State Chief Secretary and Divisional Administration, besides local public representatives from the area.
Three days back, the Government ordered  the posting of new SDM at Thannamandi.  Mir who was ACR (D) Rajouri had been placed at SDM at Thannamandi hardly five months back. He was given the additional charge of the previous post. The people said that Mir  was doing very well and people of the area were happy with his functioning and public dealing. They said that after long time they got a good officer and many pending works were cleared with his initiative. But it is unfortunate that with the political interference,  he was lifted just within six months.
The people  from  Mangota, Saaj, Rajdani, Manial, Pangai, Doodasan and several  other adjoining  hamlets  of  Thannamandi  came out on the road at around 10 am  today and then took out rally in the  main bazaar, Thannamandi. Then they reached Shahdara Chowk and sat on dharna. The movement of vehicles was stalled. The market in the  town was also closed as a mark of protest by the people.
SDPO, SHO and Tehsildar Thannamandi reached there and tried to pacify the protesting people  but they refused to suspend  protest. Then in the afternoon, the DC send Abdul Qayoom Mir to the dharna site  from Rajouri for talking to the protesting people. The people welcomed Mir but refused to lift dharna. Then the  Rajouri DC on phone told the people that  he would talk to the higher authorities in this regard but people sought commitment.
Later, MLA Rajouri, Qamar Choudhary arrived there from Rajouri. He addressed the large gathering and assured them to talk to the Chief Minister and Chief secretary besides Revenue Minister for retaining Qayoom Mir at the same place.  The people gave one week’s ultimatum  to the Govt failing which they will launch indefinite agitation. The people then lifted dharna and suspended agitation at around 4.30 pm.