SRINAGAR: It does not matter if you are wearing a helmet and have all the documents, for your two-wheeler will still land in a police station. This is the new unwritten rule of law in Srinagar, where thousands of two-wheelers have been impounded and kept in police stations, for no crime at all.
For four days now, police in many parts of the valley are seizing motorbikes, causing immense inconvenience to people. This has been followed as a routine after non-locals were killed by gunmen over the past two weeks.
One of the traffic police’s victims told Kashmir Reader that between Polo View and Lal Chowk, he was stopped three times, and every time asked to come to the police station. “I was shocked when they didn’t even bother to ask for documents. I was told: Your documents will be examined in the police station,” he said.
This reporter on the way to office was also stopped at two places by the cops. At both the places, he asked for reasons as to why he was being detained. He had all the required four documents and was wearing a helmet as well. He was let go when the officer in-charge intervened.
The officer told this reporter that it was being done due to the security situation in Srinagar.
Scenes of commuters being stopped and their vehicles seized were witnessed on Wednesday in areas of Nehru Park, Dalgate, Foreshore Road, Nishat, Barzulla, Shaheed Gunj, Rajbagh, Rainawari, SK Park, Budshah Bridge, Maulana Azad Road, TRC and Sonwar.
The cops don’t even care for emergencies at the time of detaining the bikers. Earlier police would only frisk two-wheeler riders and let them go after a check of the documents. This new move of police, on which no officer has said a word as yet, has drawn condemnation from various political parties including the Congress and National Conference.
SSP Srinagar Sandeep Singh did not respond to repeated calls from this newspaper. Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh too did not comment on the issue. Principal Secretary, Home Department, Shalin Kabra could not be reached for his comments.