Despite orders to arrest, beggars proliferate on Srinagar streets

Despite orders to arrest, beggars proliferate on Srinagar streets

SRINAGAR: Despite a ban on begging imposed by district magistrate Srinagar, and directions to arrest anyone found begging in the city, many local as well as non-local beggars have appeared on the city streets with the onset of Ramadhan, the holy month of fasting.
The district magistrate’s order aimed at preventing public nuisance and proliferation of beggars in the district does not seem to have any execution on ground.
As people tend to pay charities like Sadqa and Zakat during Ramadhan, there has been a tremendous increase in the number of beggars.
Farra Farooq, a student said that beggars cause immense problems to students like her.
She said that beggars, mostly non-locals, follow students at many spots, touch their feet, even pull their clothes while walking on the streets.
“They don’t allow us to walk freely. Every time they come across me, I have to spend ten to fifteen rupees to prevent them from following me,” she said.
Both local and non-local beggars has increased sharply in the city.
Non-locals beggars can be usually seen in groups, comprising of women folk holding their babies to gain sympathy, “I am always in a dilemma whether to give alms to the child beggars or not because I am not sure if they will use them appropriately or not. I have also heard that there is begging mafia involved in using children for begging,” said Danish Ahmad, an employee.
The beggars could be seen at all major places in the city including commercial hub Lal-chowk, Dalgate, Nowhatta, Khanyar, Batamaloo, LD hospital, Jehangir Chowk, Nowgam, Hyderpora, Sanath Nagar, Bemina, Hazratbal and many other places.
Rayees Ahmad, a resident of Dalgate, said that had the district administration implemented its own order,
“It would have given relief to people from these beggars who blackmail public in the name of Allah”.
The order issued by District Magistrate Shahid Iqbal Chowdhary, few weeks back, was aimed to ensure implementation of Jammu and Kashmir Prevention Beggary Act(JKPB Act 1960).
The order directed for “immediate action against any one indulging in the salacity of alms at public places including in or around places of worship or entering any private premises for the purpose of soliciting alms”.
It also directed for action against those exhibiting sores or wounds in injuries or deformities or disease with the object of obtaining or obstructing alms from the general public.
The order states that offender will be arrested and booked under section 4 of the JKPB Act 1960 reads with section 61 of the court of criminal procedure 1989.