Court Seeks Police Report On Motorbike Crackdown

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Srinagar: A special court on Saturday sought a report from police over the recent crackdown on two wheelers in this capital city following a spurt in militant activities and the killing of over a dozen civilians, mostly migrant workers.

The Additional Special Mobile Magistrate (Traffic) directed the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Srinagar, to “call the report from all police stations within district Srinagar” regarding the recent crackdown on two-wheelers.

The Special Court headed by Addl. Mobile Magistrate Shabir Ahmad Malik has also directed SSP Srinagar to submit the compliance report before the Court within a period of ten days.

Notably, the Special court order came in a case filed by Naveed Bukhtiyar, a social activist who had moved to the special court against the seizure of two-wheelers and had pleaded that the J&K police had acted as a “Traffic Magistrate” in releasing the confiscated vehicles.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Motor Vehicle Act of 1988 has provided provisions for traffic regulations, vehicle insurance, registration of motor vehicles and controlling permits and penalties.

In its order, the special court has notified that the applicant has raised “serious issues” of detaining the vehicles “illegally” under the garb of Motor Vehicle Act, and “releasing them latter by exercising the powers of a Traffic Magistrate” as such.

“The issue requires the indulgence of this court as the allegations are very serious in nature and the applicant is on affidavit.” reads the Special Court order, copy of which lies with Kashmir Observer.

Pertinently, on October 19, Kashmir Observer had reported that The Jammu and Kashmir police had intensified its crackdown against bikers and seized hundreds of two-wheelers allegedly without any “reason or rhyme” causing much inconvenience to the city residents.

The report had also highlighted how J&K police and CRPF personnel were confiscating hundreds of scooties, bikes and other two wheelers without assigning any reason.

The police crackdown came into action in the aftermath of several targeted killings and also coincided with Home Minister Amit Shah’s maiden visit to J&K, creating serious suspicions among the locals that two-wheelers were being seized due to the Home Minister’s visit.

However, police defended its action saying that the “seizure of some bikes and shutting down of internet in some areas was purely related to militancy and had nothing to do with the visit of Home Minister Amit Shah to Jammu and Kashmir”.

A police source, who wished anonymity, told Kashmir Observer that over 700 bikes were seized by the police during last month’s crackdown.

“There were around 750 bikes that were seized in different police stations of Srinagar city and majority of these two wheelers were not registered on the driver’s name.” The source said. “This subsequently created a suspicion among cops about the identity of the vehicle owner.”

He further added, “All the confiscated vehicles have been released after a proper verification of the driving person.”

Meanwhile, the case in this regard was filed through Advocate Malik Aadil against several non-applicants that include Inspector General of Police (Zonal Police Headquarters Batamaloo, Srinagar), Deputy Inspector General of Police (Range Police Headquarters Batamaloo, Srinagar), senior superintendent of Police (District Police Headquarters Batamaloo, Srinagar), Sub division police officer Shaheed Gunj Srinagar and Station Head Officer Batamaloo, Srinagar.

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Zaid Bin Shabir

Zaid Bin Shabir is a special correspondent at Kashmir Observer. He tweets @Zaidbinshabir

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