Srinagar residents cry foul over police ‘census’, state govt clueless
Jammu and Kashmir Police have started a “census” in Srinagar and the state government claims to be unaware of the move, which many are terming political and racial profiling.Updated: Apr 15, 2012 22:44 IST
Jammu and Kashmir Police have started a “census” in Srinagar and the state government claims to be unaware of the move, which many are terming political and racial profiling.
Police maintain their unprecedented drive — after the completion of the 2011 census — is a new policing measure, but the state law ministry has no such information and home ministry officials have clammed up.
What's more, police are using “census form” as the title of their form being used for door-to-door data collection.
“For any census to be conducted, one should have legal backing as per the Census Act,” said CS Sapru, joint director, census operations.
The police drive began in the old city parts — the epicentre of stone throwing in recent years — in February and spread across the state's summer capital. Police have started digitising the data.
According to locals, apart from address and phone numbers, the police form asks heads of families to furnish details about their affiliation with any educational, religious or philanthropic institution.
Asked about the legality of the drive, AG Mir, deputy inspector general of police in central Kashmir, replied, “We are the police of the state and the question of having legal backing does not arise.”
Ashiq Bukhari, senior superintendent of police, Srinagar, was quoted by a local daily as terming the drive a "new concept of policing", which would also help track down criminals.
State law minister Ali Mohammad Sagar expressed ignorance about the police move. Minister of state for home Nasir Aslam Wani asked for the questions to be posed to his department’s home secretary, BR Sharma.
Despite repeated attempts, Sharma could not be reached for comment. The civil society is aghast at the police move. “Police are putting the entire population under surveillance to get information to help them in militancy-related operations,” said lawyer Parvez Imroz.
Jammu and Kashmir high court bar association spokesman GN Shaheen said, “It is an illegal intrusion into people's lives.”
First Published: Apr 15, 2012 22:43 IST