Article 370 scrapped: Police ask some Srinagar hotels for list of guests
Jammu and Kashmir police have asked different hoteliers in the city’s business hub to submit a list of guests lodged in their hotels.
Policemen in civilian clothes from Kothi Bagh police station visited different hotels on the Residency Road on Friday and Saturday with the request.
“We have been asked to compile a list and forward it to the higher authorities,” a police official said not divulging the reasons of the move.
While most of the hotels in the city centre Lal Chowk and Residency Road leading to the Batamaloo bridge are empty, some others hosting journalists or businessmen have started furnishing the details.
“I have no guest in my hotel and have informed the police about the same,” said Imtiyaz Ahmad, owner of a high end hotel in the city centre.
Mohammad Yousuf, manager of another prominent hotel on Residency Road, said that they have some guests whose details have been passed on to the police.
“There were some 10-12 occupants in our hotel, a few of them journalists. We submitted the information with name and a few other details. If a new guest comes, we will have to again inform,” he said.
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Yousuf said that this was not the first instance of police seeking information on guests in hotels for security purposes.
“Earlier also during tensions in the city or before Republic or Independence Day, the police would ask us for the details of the guests till the day passed off peacefully,” he said.
Restrictions that were imposed across Jammu and Kashmir including blocking communication lines on August 5, a day before center abrogated special status of the state and divided it into two Union Territories, are yet to be removed completely from the Kashmir Valley.
While shops and businesses have mostly remained closed, public transport too has largely remained off the roads and landlines have only been partially restored.
Hotels and houseboats of the city are mostly deserted after around 20,000 tourists, including foreigners and Amarnath pilgrims, left Kashmir on August 3, following an advisory by the state administration.
A visit to some of the hotels near Dal Lake and in Old City on Saturday revealed that they had not been asked for guests’ information so far.
“We have zero occupancy after tourist police came on August 3 asking us to vacate the hotel of any tourists or Amarnath pilgrims. Since then there has been no communication from the police,” said Basit Gul, manager of a hotel at the Dalgate.
Muneer Ahmad, manager of a budget hotel in Old City, said that after the August 3 order, they have not let in any guests.
Besides the concertina wires and road blocks on the streets, fresh bunkers have come up within the city and other areas of the valley to thwart any possible attacks on the security forces installation and militant movement.
The officials fear that militants or elements “inimical to peace” could also take advantage of the movements during night.