Non-local beggars swarm public places, tourist sites in South Kashmir

Non-local beggars have swarmed many areas in South Kashmir including along vital Srinagar-Jammu National Highway.

The pedestrians, shoppers, tourists, students and employeesface inconvenience when beggars come their way asking for alms.

These beggars can be seen roaming around freely at publicplaces including footpaths, parking lots, hospitals, markets and the touristspots.

Taveela Zahoor, a student of Islamic University of Scienceand Technology said: “Every day when we go to the university, the beggarsliterally chase us to fetch money. These non-local beggars have made the livesof girl students miserable.”

A male student outside IUST campus said: “Whenever thesenon-local beggars see a young girl or a group of students, they literallypounce over them. Whenever we are with our female classmates outside the campsthey humiliate us.”

The tourists also complain of the menace. A foreign touristat Jhelum Park in Awantipora, here said that he and his family were beingharassed by beggars who did not spare them even when they were in a hurry.

“You find these beggars at every tourist resort.Surprisingly, some beggars carry with them babies,” Wajahat Ali, a tourist fromLucknow, said.

Anil from Delhi said: “We came here to view the beauty ofKashmir, but every moment we step out of the vehicle, we get surrounded bybeggars, who do not let us go until we give them some money.”

Mohammad Shafi a local shopkeeper in Anantnag told GreaterKashmir that though Anantnag district is a tourist hub of south Kashmir,”surprisingly it is full of beggars”.

“The beggars here could be seen pulling the dupatta of womenand even chase men to fetch money,” he added.

Begging being an offence under Jammu and Kashmir Preventionof Beggary Act I960, strict action should be taken against these beggars,suggested a group of people here.

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