by Hilal Shah
SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir police have seized hundreds of two-wheelers across Srinagar city. This has triggered panic and enforced immobility on the youth, mostly the working lot within the private and public sector.
Though no plausible reason is available over the overnight crackdown on the bikes, some people attribute it to the visit of the Home Minister later this week.
The 2-wheeler seizure coincided with the massive deployments and surprise halts and checks of vehicles and pedestrians. In certain areas, for the last two days, even female paramilitary personnel are searching the belongings of the women in markets.
Most of the youth whose bikes have been seized are seen crowding outside the police stations in Srinagar. No reasons have been given to them for the seizures.
A student from Srinagar who is studying at Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST) said he was coming home from Awantipora when he was stopped by police at Pantha Chowk. His bike, he said was seized and no reason was given.
“I had filled the tank of my bike in the morning and exhausted whatever I had in my pocket,” the student, who wishes to stay anonymous, said. “I had all the documents and I was wearing a helmet too. But they did not listen to my pleas. What was scary for me was that I had nothing in my pocket and I footed the entire distance till I reached a friend in Lal Chowk.”
This student said there are at least more than two dozen bikers waiting outside the police station for the release of their two-wheelers. Some of them are living far away in the Srinagar periphery.
Another biker alleged that even the elders weren’t spared. They were asked to hand over the keys of their two-wheelers and wait outside the station.
When Kashmir Life contacted SSP Srinagar, he didn’t respond to our repeated phone calls.
Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad while addressing a press conference in Srinagar advised the government not to harass bikers.
He said that petrol prices are touching the sky and, in these circumstances, people prefer two-wheelers instead of driving a car. So, the seizure of bikes and harassment of bikers should stop.
Ahead of Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s scheduled visit to Jammu and Kashmir, strict security measures have been imposed in Jammu and Kashmir. Amit Shah is scheduled to visit Jammu and Kashmir on October 23-25. During his visit, Shah will hold important high-level meetings on the security situation in Kashmir.