Srinagar, June 14 : Even as District Magistrate Srinagar, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary has ordered immediate arrest of those found soliciting alms in the district, the beggars especially non-locals continue to irk the people in the city here while no action is being taken against them.
The beggars could be seen seeking alms at the traffic signals and also ride into the public transport vehicles leaving people hassled.
The non-local beggars who are mostly found indulging in drug abuse and pick-pocketing have proliferated raising concern among the people.
Non-local beggars could be seen at all major places in the Srinagar city including commercial hub, Lal Chowk, Dal-Gate, Khanyar, almost across the Srinagar city.
A student of Women college Iflah Jan said, “these beggars seek from the people especially students, who feel irked. Government should take strict action against them”.
“Why this place is being filled with beggars. Most of them are those who cannot even walk. I think it is big business nexus and government should take serious note of the problem,” said Muhammad Ashraf, a local shopkeeper in Lal chowk.
“They will not let you go unless you pay them some money. If you enter a shop they will chase you. This has become a serious concern and authorities should do something,” said Sajad Ahmad, a teacher at a local college.
Besides this, the other fear that has gripped people is that these non local beggars are reportedly found involved in stealing, pick pocketing and various other bad practices.
“Most of these non local beggars in the evenings are seen taking drugs and alcohol as well,” said a shopkeeper at Dalgate.
Earlier, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, in exercise of powers vested in him under the Jammu and Kashmir Prevention of Beggary (JKPB) Act 1960, had issued an order, directing immediate arrest of persons found soliciting alms at public places. The order is aimed at ensuring implementation of provisions of the JKPB Act prohibiting soliciting of alms at public places.
It directs for immediate action against anyone indulging in soliciting of alms at public places including in or around places of worship or entering any private premises for the purpose of soliciting alms. The order also directs for action against those exhibiting sores or wounds or injuries or deformities or disease with the object of obtaining or extorting alms. The order states that offenders will be arrested and booked under Section 4 of the JKPB Act 1960 read with Section 61 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1989.
Despite banning, the beggars especially non-locals could be seen roaming freely in the commercial Hub here seeking alms from the people especially to young students, who feel irked by them.
Officials also admitted that beggars create “massive nuisance” for the public, especially at traffic signals, adding that there was no proper details available with them regarding the total numbers of beggars present here as there was no survey conducted in this regard. (with PTK inputs)