Beggars harassing Kashmir tourists

SRINAGAR, India - Non-local beggars, who have made lives of locals miserable now harassing and targeting tourists especially foreigners across Srinagar.

Beggars harassing Kashmir tourists

SRINAGAR, India – Non-local beggars, who have made lives of locals miserable now harassing and targeting tourists especially foreigners across Srinagar.

With the enormous increase of non-local beggars in summer capital, these beggars have now learnt to survive in Kashmir. They have marked particular areas of Srinagar as their special zones to beg around such as Dalgate, Nishat including all tourist destinations.

Domestic and foreign tourists said that they are being harassed by beggars who do not spare them even when they are in hurry. These beggars, who are believed to be illegal immigrants, would carry out their activities with their babies and children in the city.

Johnny Blair a foreigner said these beggars are nuisance “I came here to explore the beauty of Kashmir but every time the moment I step out of the car, I get surrounded by beggars, who do not let me go till I give them some money. See helping poor is good but here the beggars make almost 100 rounds a day to get money,” he said.

Recently two female foreigners (tourists) were harassed by a non local female beggar who according to them had tried to snatch their bags but failed. Bella Ruise and Marrie Karlz, said “they scared and us to pay money, even pregnant women are being forced to beg these days. A pregnant lady certainly non-local came to us and chased us from Dalgate to our hotel where we are residing,” they said.

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They added that the beggar tried to snatch their hand bag but failed to do so. They said that such things haunt them in here in Kashmir.
Seemingly, the state government is busy in attracting the attention of the world but has failed to keep a check on the inflow of beggars in Kashmir which has already affected tourism and is also believed to be some gangs running begging racket in the city.

The beggars not only harass the tourists for alms, but lately, this harassment has turned into torment. They literally chase tourists, some even running after the auto-rickshaws ferrying them.

International tourists are not the only ones who have become the beggars’ target, Ashutosh Shukla from Pune said that Kashmir which is known as paradise on earth should not have been overwhelmed by the beggar menace to this extent,” he said.

Apart from harassing tourists, they also pose threat to traffic as they come asking for alms at busy roundabouts.

A local vendor Aabid Dar said the female beggars have been hanging around the place for over a month. “They only annoy foreigners.”
Director Tourism Tatal Parvaiz told Rising Kashmir that the beggary has become a serious problem in Kashmir. He said that the beggars specially come in the month of Ramadan.

“I have reports that these beggars are been dropped in truck loads here in Srinagar, I think it needs a proper probe that where from they come and who drops them here. It becomes a common problem in the month of Ramadan that they start harassing people because they know that people in this month give a good charity,” he said.

He added that tourist police would take care of tourists, but at the same time police department should take necessary action regarding this begging racket which has become a business in Kashmir.

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