Already human rights groups have been condemning the cordon and search operations that are being carried out by the state police from time to time. In the city, these searches have become quite normal, though many in the areas that are regularly checked are not so happy with these kinds of checks. However, there are others who feel the city police needs to be alert at all times as there is an increasing number of cases of youth being introduced to drugs of different categories.
Just a few days back, police came down and checked a small chai shop in Dabeerpura in Old City. The customers were asked to vacate the place, and then all the people were asked to show what they had in their pockets. Not stopping there, the police also asked the adjoining pan dabbawala to get out of his dabba so they could check for gutkha.
Though they found no gutkha in the dabba, the panwala says the youth in the area were rattled due to the sudden check for drugs. It is known that already there are quite some people who feel that such raids should not be carried out.
The youth in the old city say that they now fear hanging out with friends as they fear being arrested if the police find something with anyone at chai shops or pan dabbas. Many of them say they prefer not to hang out during the evenings these days.
On the other hand, human rights activists say that cordon and search operations cause untold agony to women of lower castes and Muslim women. While the police say it is all part of safety measures and routine checks, the people in the old city are not exactly convinced. However, the police maintain the checks are part of ‘Mission Chabutra.'