Valley politicians express concern over ‘police census’ - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Valley politicians express concern over ‘police census’

By, Srinagar
Jan 31, 2024 07:00 AM IST

Political leaders have asked the administration to come clean on the police “census” exercise in the capital city

Like last year, Jammu and Kashmir Police have started collecting personal information of locals in capital Srinagar, triggering concern among the people and politicians of the Valley.

Senior Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader MY Tarigami expressed his fears on social media platform X (HT File)
Senior Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader MY Tarigami expressed his fears on social media platform X (HT File)

Political leaders have asked the administration to come clean on the police “census” exercise in the capital city. Police have been silent on the issue so far on its otherwise vibrant social media handles. Calls to Kashmir inspector general of police VK Birdi and Srinagar senior superintendent of police Asish Kumar Mishra were unanswered till the time of filing of this report.

HT launches Crick-it, a one stop destination to catch Cricket, anytime, anywhere. Explore now!

Senior Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader MY Tarigami expressed his fears on social media platform X. “An unusual census being conducted by the police and security forces have stirred up anxiety among the people. Clueless residents perceive it as another attempt by the state to tighten control. The government must clarify the type and purpose of this census,” he said on Tuesday.

Police in various areas of Srinagar have been distributing “census” forms, seeking personal details of families, such as their names, Aadhaar numbers, phone numbers and occupations. The forms also seek details of ”terror links” or encounters”.

In some areas, police officials are visiting door-to-door for these details. The residents said that they also click pictures of the members and the house, besides taking its latitude and longitude details.

“Policemen visited our home and told me that this is a census exercise. When I argued that the census cannot be conducted by police, they didn’t budge. We were forced to provide our personal details. We didn’t want unnecessary harassment,” said a resident of Old City in Srinagar.

A lower rung police official involved in the “census” said that they were following orders of their superiors while senior police officers have been calling it part of “modern policing”.

The issue was also raised by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), led by Mehbooba Mufti, in its core group meeting on Monday.

The core group expressed deep concern regarding the initiative by J&K police. “This intrusive measure, which involves soliciting details such as individuals’ names, vehicles, and contact information, has triggered widespread panic among citizens. The PDP vehemently condemns this alarming development, denouncing it as a direct assault on the inherent rights and identity of ordinary Kashmiris,” the party said in a statement.

This is not the first time that such an exercise has been conducted in Kashmir by security forces. Last year, HT had reported how the police distributed the ”census forms” in mohallas handing over to the elderly people and mosque management heads to forward them to residents.

In 2012, police had conducted similar “census”, which had elicited harsh reactions from civil society, who termed it “political and racial profiling”. By 2016, such forms had become more intrusive like residents, in some cases, had to file details like their affiliations to religious sects or maslak. Central Reserved Police Force and army have been accused of conducting surveys in parts of Kashmir in the past collecting personal details of the residents.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Saturday, April 20, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On