Kashmiri people face harassment in Delhi

Srinagar: Post Uri attack, Kashmiri people in India have been facing increased suspicion and harassment while people visiting Delhi allege that police have been taking bribes from them after every frisking and questioning operation.

“It was a nightmare for me when a local hotel owner in Delhi called police after I refused to pay extra charges to the owner which he was demanding. The police arrived and labeled me as a ‘terrorist’. I had to pay bribe to them and later on I came to know there is a nexus between police and hotel owners,” a businessman who was a part of delegation told news agency CNS wishing not to be named.

He added that Delhi hotel owners particularly those who run hotel in the adjacent of Jamia Masjid have been acting as agents of Delhi police. “Whenever any Kashmiri visits their hotel, they call police and label the visitor as ‘terrorist’. Under pressure and nervous Kashmiri is being left with no option but to grease the palm of the cops,” the businessman said.

Another Kashmir who had gone Delhi to meet his incarcerated son in Tihar Jail narrated the same tale how his pocket was emptied by policemen in Delhi while he was staying in a hotel.

“Kashmiri people in New Delhi suffer from “a deep sense of insecurity and vulnerability” and are victims of police harassment, humiliating searches, intimidation, arbitrary detentions and demands for bribes by local policemen under the pretext of fighting terrorism,” he said and added that the climate of suspicion has sharpened since Uri attack, when unidentified gunmen suspected of being rebels fighting for Kashmir’s freedom from India attacked Brigade Headquarters in Uri Baramulla killing all but 13 Indian soldiers.

There are students, businessmen, professionals, patients from Kashmir who are in Delhi and a majority of the people is those who arrive there to visit their incarcerated children. “The stereotype is that every Kashmiri is a terrorist. Do Kashmiris have to rip open their hearts each time to prove they are not terrorists?” they questioned. (CNS)

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