Police launches ‘census’ in Srinagar

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir police have started ‘census’ operation in many parts of this capital city and are collecting personal and professional information from the residents that will be stored at a centrally located computerized database.
As part of the survey that is underway in many parts of the city, the cops drop at the gate of the house owner and ask him to fill a form that seeks his or her personal and professional details, Kashmir Reader learnt on Thursday.
The ‘census’ form also seeks details of the family members, their age, and occupation. The form has separate columns that mention the direction and distance of the house from the nearest police station or police post.
Besides, the form seeks information from the residents about their telephones, vehicles, including the chassis and engine number. It also asks residents to furnish the details of tenants or servants.
“On Thursday morning, a cop visited my house and gave me over a form. The form seeks complete personal and professional information of me and my family members. I was surprised to see police conducting the ‘census’. In 2011, the Census Department had carried a similar exercise,” Manzoor Hussain, a resident of Saida Kadal in downtown city told Kashmir Reader.
The cops were visiting every house in the locality and the adjoining areas asking the locals to submit the forms as soon as possible, Hussain said.
“We have also been told to paste a photograph of the house owner and the tenant or servant, if any, on the form” he said.
A senior police official insisting not to be named told Kashmir Reader that the so-called census operation “was not something unusual but a practice that has been going on for decades.” He said collecting the details of the residents was aimed to “make policing better”.
“In fact, the ‘census’ will be beneficial to the people. It will help us to maintain a database of all the residents. It will also make verification process easy for the people, who apply for passport or other related official documents. Due to turmoil, it was affected for some time. However, with a visible improvement in situation, the process has been resumed,” the official said.
The ‘census’, he said, will also keep a tab on the movement of miscreants and the criminals and will make their identification easy.
“Many a time in the past, cases of mistaken identity have taken place while solving the crime-related cases. However, the ongoing ‘census’ operation will make it easy to identify the real culprit. It will make police-public relations better,” the officer added.