SRINAGAR: After the February 19 militant attack in Srinagar in which a militant wearing a pheran shot dead two policemen, security personnel are at times asking civilians to remove the traditional cloak and pack it.
The Bajrang Dal and some voices from the BJP are calling for a ban on the use of pheran, but the saffron party says the call should be taken by security forces.
There have been instances even in Lal Chowk and Hari Singh High Street where pheran wearers have been asked to remove their cloak for security reasons.
IG CRPF Srinagar sector Charu Sinha clarified that security personnel do frisking but there is no need to remove the pheran.
“Security is tightened but insulting anybody is not the intention,” she said, adding there has been no direction from authorities to men on ground to force civilians to remove their pheran during the frisking.
Bajrang Dal leader Rakesh Bajrangi claimed 99 per cent grenade attacks in Kashmir have been carried out by those wearing pheran.
BJP leader Abhijeet Jasrotia also backed the call to ban the pheran. “Nothing is more precious than the lives of soldiers and policemen. ... It should be banned in public places and government offices.”
However, Kashmiris strongly oppose any attempt to ban the pheran, saying it is the identity of their culture. “We even wore it when militancy was at its peak. We have not given it up and nor will give it up,” National Conference president Farooq Abdullah said.