City of restrictions

The frequent restrictions adversely affect trade in the area

Srinagar, Publish Date: Feb 14 2018 11:42PM | Updated Date: Feb 14 2018 11:42PM

Yet again, the authorities placed the entire down town under restrictions as a `precautionary major’. The intention was to keep people away from encounter site at Karan Nagar. This imposition of frequent restrictions subjects a big chunk of Srinagar population to inconvenience. The restrictions are mostly imposed on Fridays, thus depriving people of participating in congregational prayers. During restrictions, the historic Jamia Masjid also remains out of bounds. This has been a major irritant, and people have highly resented the frequent closure of the mosque which is reminiscent of the Dogra and Sikh regimes when the mosque was locked for quite some time. This is by all standards, interference in the realm of emotive matters, and therefore, highly condemnable. In a democratic dispensation people cannot be confined to their homes in the name of law and order. The trend is not doing any good to the administration. In fact, it adds fuel to the already volatile situation. The frequent restrictions have adversely affected trade in the area forcing many a trader to shift their business outside the state. A few years ago when tourists thronged Kashmir, the area witnessed mushroom growth of hotels a, lodges and guest houses. The government encouraged it and also provided soft loans to make more space for the tourists. The restrictions have kept tourists also away from the area. The commoner also suffer in different ways. They have experienced difficulty in removing ailing persons to health centres. People of Kashmir want to live in peace. They are not mischief mongers. However, there must be some space for peaceful protests in a democracy. The administration, therefore, has to ensure that people are not subjected to inconvenience every now and then in the name of law and order. The peoples’ right to dissent has to be recognised. Imposing curbs has not helped anybody for the past one decade. It falsifies the official claims of restoration of normality. So this is high time sanity prevailed. The administration must refrain from imposing restrictions in old town or any other part of Kashmir; at least not this frequently.  

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