SRINAGAR: As restrictions were imposed in Srinagar areas on Friday, it was the 16th time that the government imposed restrictions in the downtown Srinagar in a period of six weeks.
The areas falling under the jurisdiction of five police stations – Khanyar, Nowhatta, Rainwari, MR Gung and Safa kadal – have seen heavy deployment of police and paramilitary forces patrolling the streets and restricting people’s movement.
Frequent restrictions have severely affected the people and businesses as the restrictions are increasingly becoming a routine since 2010 in downtown. During these restrictions, which people of the area say are as severe as a curfew, government forces do not even allow residents to buy bread and milk.
“We are imprisoned during this unofficial curfew,” said Saleema Bano, a resident of Khanyar in Srinagar. “I got an appointment for the doctor one month ago, and today, when I was supposed to go, police would not allow me. I had to beg to them.”
However, between her home and the hospital, Bano says she had a tough time as forces imposed strict restrictions. “From Rajouri Kadal to Soura hospital, our car was stopped five times. Sometimes we think we have to move to some other place because of day to day restrictions in this part of the city,” she added.
Majid Ahmad of Safa Kadal area said that restrictions in downtown are unwarranted. “Whenever an incident takes place, no matter where, authorities impose restrictions in downtown. Every Friday there is curfew like situation. It makes me question why I live in the downtown area; life is so limited. We are sometimes even allowed to step outside our home.”
The students of the downtown are also feel the stress. Kousar Jan, an undergraduate student said, “I missed many lectures. I am not able to go for tuitions, and if somehow I manage to reach there, I almost every time find myself caught in stone pelting on way back. I am scared to tell my teacher to repeat lessons for me. Who is responsible for the loss I suffer in my studies?”