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Police seeking guest lists, other details, say hoteliers in Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir police have asked hoteliers in the city’s business hub to submit a list of guests staying in their establishments.Policemen from the Kothi Bagh station, dressed in civilian clothes, visited hotels on Residency Road on Friday and Saturday, asking the management to furnish a list of people, both local and non-local, staying on their premises, hoteliers said.

“We have been asked to compile a list and forward it to higher authorities,” a police officer said without elaborating on the reasons for the move.

Most hotels in the city centre including Lal Chowk and Residency Road, leading to the Batamaloo bridge, are empty. Those hotels where journalists or businessmen are staying have started furnishing the details they have been asked for.

“I have no guests in my hotel and I informed the police about the same,” said Imtiyaz Ahmad, owner of a high-end hotel.

Mohammad Yousuf, manager of another prominent hotel on Residency Road, said there were some guests about whom he had informed the police. “There were some 10-12 occupants in our hotel, a few of them journalists. We submitted the details. If a new guest comes, we will have to again inform [the police],” he said.

Yousuf said it was not the first time the police had sought such details as they wanted to be aware of the people who enter the city centre. “By this, they become aware of the people here and if any precaution needs to be taken,” he said.

Restrictions were imposed across Jammu and Kashmir and communication lines blocked on August 5 as the Centre pushed through Parliament provisions effectively revoking the special status of Kashmir. Jammu and Kashmir was divided into two Union territories — J&K and Ladakh.

The restrictions are yet to be completely removed from the Kashmir valley, where shops and businesses have remained closed. Public transport is still off the roads. Telephone landlines have been partially restored.

Hotels and houseboats are mostly deserted after around 20,000 tourists, including foreigners and Amarnath cave shrine pilgrims, left Kashmir on August 3 when the state administration asked non-locals to leave the Valley citing a terror threat.

HT visited some hotels near Dal Lake and in the Old City on Saturday to find out if they too had been asked to furnish a list of guests. But no such directive has been sent to them so far.

Muneer Ahmad, manager of a budget hotel in the Old City, said that after the August 3 order, no guest had been allowed in.

First Published:
Aug 25, 2019 05:38 IST

Source: HindustanTimes