SRINAGAR: At a time when government has ordered to round up beggars found in Srinagar, the non-availability of space to accommodate them is worrying the police.
District Magistrate Srinagar, Syed Abid Rasheed Shah on Wednesday directed police to arrest the persons found “soliciting alms in a public place, religious places and other private premises”.
The District Magistrate in the order stated that off late there is proliferation of beggars on the streets of Srinagar which creates massive nuisance for the general public.
It noted that begging at any public place or places of worship whether or not under any pretence is repugnant to the Jammu and Kashmir Prevention of Beggary Act, 1960.
The order reads that being an offence under the act, it is imperative to take strict action under law be initiated against the offenders.
Meanwhile the District Magistrate tweeted that “Due to the proliferation of beggars on the streets of district Srinagar, the general public faced immense nuisance. Keeping relief to general public in view, I as the DM have passed orders for arrest of offenders soliciting alms on the streets esp at traffic signals.”
At a time when the non-local beggars continue to flock to Srinagar especially during the sacred month of Ramadan, the state government has utterly failed to make beggars home available in the state.
Police officials informed Kashmir Reader that there is no concept of creating beggars home in the state for the non-local beggars who usually flock to the state every year especially on the eve of sacred month of Ramadhan.
“Who should we arrest and where should we take them,” said a police officer wishing anonymity. He added that technically there should be ‘beggars home’ like there are in Delhi and other parts of India to tackle the menace.
The Government of India’s Ministry of Social Justice, in their report say that there are more than 14 lakh beggars in India. In Jammu and Kashmir, there are 4134 beggars as per census that includes 2550 males and 1584 females.
“The number of beggars in Ramadhan increase in Kashmir with good number of beggars from different parts of India come here,” said an official at Srinagar Municipal Corporation.
In Srinagar, non-local beggars, mostly women and children, are found at major traffic intersections, where they approach vehicles stopping at the red light.
According to the National Human Rights Commission, there are over 300,000 child beggars in India. Nearly 40,000 children are abducted and forced to beg every year. The reports say that the whereabouts of more than 10,000 of them remains unknown.