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Hoardings warn dating couples in Srinagar

Taking the residents and police by surprise,huge hoardings sprang up in a locality in Srinagar.

Written by RIYAZ WANI | Srinagar |
February 3, 2009 8:55:24 am

Taking the residents and police by surprise,huge hoardings sprang up in a locality in Srinagar on Monday warning dating couples to stay away from residential areas or face the music.

“If you are found with a person of the opposite gender,you will either be handed over to police or your heads will be shaven,” say the hoardings,which have come up at street junctions of Karan Nagar.

While these quote from the scriptures to underline their message,they are curiously silent about who is behind the campaign. “We are taking these down soon. We are investigating and will soon know the people behind them,” said Srinagar’s district police chief Afad-ul-Mujtaba.

SHO,Karan Nagar,Rafiq Ahmad said the basic problem was the extent of commercial activity in the locality,drawing a large number of people from outside. “There are scores of offices of pharmaceutical companies and testing laboratories. This has turned the residential area into more or less a market,forcing people to complain about lack of privacy,” he said. Ahmad added that many a time the complaints about “dating couples” had no basis and the people in question turned out to be husband and wife or siblings.

Noting that nobody had any business restricting public movement,the SHO said: “ I will call on the people to involve police if they see some genuinely suspicious activity.”

However,some residents see nothing wrong with the hoardings. “This is not about a moral campaign or Talibanisation. It is about our right to live respectably in our mohalla,” said a member of the Karan Nagar Mohalla Committee.

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