Srinagar is back to nineties, frisking fumes residents

Tasavur Mushtaq/Umar Khurshid


In Srinagar, the scene of the nineties is back on the roads. With the heavy deployment of police in the city, the government forces have tightened the noose in and around the Srinagar.

The scene on Wednesday in Srinagar when police stopped and checked vehicles ( KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)

The barricades coupled with the presence of men in uniform, the checking has been intensified at various places across the city.

Stopping of the vehicle is what we have witnessed in the era of the nineties, says Mushtaq Ahmad, a resident of Nishat. “This is the renewal of the 1990s when we feared to move outside.”

Not used to this kind of checking, the residents of city alleged that ruling coalition government is “insensitive towards what people go through on daily basis.”

“See they talk about peace with dignity, but I have gone through checking at three places while going to office from Lal Bazar to Lal Chowk,” Amir Mushtaq told Kashmir Life and added that “the late evening movement is now a risk for ordinary citizens.”

The police stopping the passenger vehicle and asking passengers to come down (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)

With a couple of incidents of Cordon and Search operations in the city, the residents compare it with the dreadful “crackdown era.”

“Since this has happened, I am worried until my son is back after his work and even thereafter we lock the door from inside,” Mymoona, a resident of Awanti Bhawan said and added that “even during daytime there is the sense of insecurity.”

On Wednesday, it was reported from city centre Raj Bagh that forces while stopping the vehicles asked passengers to come down and checked their identity proofs. “We had long forgotten keeping Identity Cards along but today it was embarrassing,” said Ali Muhammad who was one of the passengers of bus asked to come down near Presentation Convent.

The Naka in Srinagar checking the commuters ( KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)

The issue of Srinagar being put to new security scenario was discussed in the assembly which is in session in Jammu.

Taking a dig at BJPDP government, former chief minister Omar Abdullah mocked at the government for a crackdown in Srinagar after 17 years. While terming it as ‘achievement of Mufti government’, he wrote on Twitter “Crack down return to Srinagar. Another ‘achievement’ of the Mufti government”.

The principal opposition party of state National Conference also walked out from the assembly over the issue.

National Conference spokesman Junaid Azim Mattu term the emerging situation as “detrimental to peace”.  “They are creating fear psychosis, provoking people and acting in the way that is detrimental to peace,” he told Kashmir Life over the phone.

“We have been asking the government in and outside the assembly to restore peace,” he said and added that “the PDP has completely surrendered before the fascist forces.”

Castigating government over the issue, PDP’s erstwhile founding member and a senior Congress leader Tariq Hamid Karra says “this is the total surrender of PDP before BJP and Sangh Parivar.”

“The philosophy of Sanghis is to bring people on knees. They want to demoralize the people and want them to hands up,” he told Kashmir Life.

The security scenario, Karra says is a “pressure tactic.” This is Pressure tactic from RSS, nothing g less and nothing more. PDP is just a facilitating it as collaborators whose presence is just ceremonial,” and added that this is being done from Nagpur and ministry of home affairs, Delhi.”

The reports reaching Kashmir Life from other districts are similar. Commuters coming from North and South Kashmir said that checking and identification parades are being carried by the cops in various places on way to Srinagar.

As per reports, men in civvies on the road which leads to Pari Mahal stopped vehicles and commuters allege that there was “harassment” as well.

Police checking private vehicles in Srinagar (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)

Driving in private vehicle, numbering in four, Adil Ahmad said that they stopped his vehicle and asked him to leave the place immediately. Without wearing a uniform, Adil says “how can men without any identification put people to such humiliation.”

“If now we are not allowed to go out with our families to places where tourists come from other states, where should we go,” he asks

However DIG central Kashmir Ghulam Hassan Bhat says it is a routine. When Kashmir Life asked Bhat about the situation, he said: “it is because of venue of Republic day function is in Srinagar.”

Refusing to comment about any input Bhat said “as people of this place are not used to all this, so they feel it. Otherwise, this is just part of ensuring security in view of Republic day.”

When asked about the incident of Pari Mahal  and identification of men roaming in civvies, DIG Bhat neither confirmed the men from being police nor denied but said:” it is the route to Raj Bhawan, you should know it.”

The police chief of district Baramulla Imtiyaz Hussain told Kashmir Life  that “there is no such type of checking in his district and everything is fine with minor checking.”


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