#Day53: Wounded Valley Challaned for Violating Traffic Rules



A scene on MA Road Srinagar on August 30, 2016. (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)
A scene on MA Road Srinagar on August 30, 2016. (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)

It may sound bizarre but Srinagar traffic police are back on the streets of curfewed Srinagar, apparently to crackdown on the “traffic violators” who visit the capital city for various emergency purposes like visiting hospitals etc.

Interestingly, the move comes at a time when Kashmir continues to remain on the edge after popular militant commander Burhan Wani was killed by forces in south Kashmir’s Islamabad district on July 8 this year.

This sudden show of strength by traffic police, who are manning major intersections in Srinagar city with challan books, is seen as a provocation by commuters.

“My car’s insurance has expired on August 10. How and from where am I supposed to get it renewed in such circumstances,” asks a Journalist who travels to his office in Srinagar on alternative days.

They (traffic police) are stopping vehicles and bikers right from Pantha Chowk, the entry point to Srinagar from south Kashmir, and ask for insurance and other related documents.

“This is insensitive on part of government to harass people in such difficult times,” said a commuter who was stopped on way to SMHS hospital by traffic cops near Regal Chowk.

“They asked why I have not renewed my insurance that expired on July 25. I am at my wits ends at their insensitivity. Do they (traffic cops) live on another planet? Don’t they know everything is shut since July 9?” he asks.

With major healthcare facilities located in capital city, people mange through road blocks, curfewed areas, restriction, and hostile situations to reach Srinagar hospitals.

“But it seems the government is hell bent to make lives of people hell,” said an angry commuter who was recently stopped near Dalgate by traffic cops. “The traffic cop asked me why I am not wearing a seat belt!”

“I wanted to laugh at his face at his idiocy but controlled my emotions since they (traffic cops) carry guns. Who would have cared if he would have shot me for laughing at him?” he asks.

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