One of Srinagar’s premier five-star hotels had locked its main gate to prevent shelter-seekers from getting in. Police had to break open the locks forcibly to house a 27 member SAARC delegation, mostly Pakistanis, after they were rescued by army from one of the worst flood affected localities from the city, police sources said.
A senior police officer told Kashmir Life that after the army rescued the delegation, it became a major issue where to house them. After the government was consulted, the chief secretary issued express instructions that the delegation be escorted to the Grand Palace Hotel.
“Once the team reached the main gate of the Palace, they found it locked and when the escort asked them to open it, they refused point blank,” a police officer, who is not authorized to talk to the media, said. “After some time, the government sent an SP rank officer and he was also refused entry. Finally the officer broke open the locks and drove the delegation in to the hotel.”
The officer said the hotel management later came running with the keys but by that time, the police was already in. “There were sections of people living far away from the destruction of the city who had no comprehension of the crisis and were busy closing entry of people,” one officer said.
Efforts to get response from the hotel management failed. An official who picked the call said he knows nothing about the incident and snapped the line.