February 2016 News

Police In Kashmir Start Religious Profiling, NC, Separatists Say Dangerous

3 February 2016
India Today
Naseer Ganai

Srinagar: National Conference and separatists are on the same page in opposing a move of Jammu & Kashmir Police to collect data about geographical location, religious, sectarian and political affiliation of the population terming it as an attempt to 'divide Kashmir on sectarian basis'. 'There is no precedence to collect such data and details. Such data will have negative implications and this dangerous stereotyping of people should stop', NC spokesman Junaid Azim Mattu said. He said collecting data about people on the basis of sectarian and political affiliation has nothing to do with security of the state and the government should explain why it is doing this 'dangerous exercise' in Kashmir region. The sources said after Kashmir specific survey Jammu and Kashmir Police is planning to provide ten-digit family identification number to every house. The sources said the survey also asks about 'ONG coordinates' to get latitudinal and longitudinal location of the house. Kashmir Police Chief SJM Gilani was not available for comment in spite of repeated calls. However, he recently told reporters that police want to update its database to ensure better security plans and curb crimes and the survey is part of the exercise. Police argues that it has lost data during September 2014 floods in Srinagar and other districts and exercise is part of to collect date about people. Police have said those who were not willing to provide sect wise details were free to do so. But defence of police in support of the survey has failed to wade off apprehensions. Hard-line Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Geelani alleged that survey is monitored by the Army in villages and towns. While as moderate separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said the police argument that the profiling was done to arrest crime rate was beyond logic and understanding. 'We see a deeper intrigue into it. We want that police should reveal why they are doing it. We have always maintained sectarian differences should be downplayed but the police and the government now is playing up sectarian differences by doing this survey', Mirwaiz said. 'We will oppose the survey', Mirwaiz said.