Jammu, Sep 3 (ANI): Begging seems to have become a thriving profession in Jammu and Kashmir.
Jammu is famous for several beautiful and famous temples. It is also the gateway to Vaishno Devi, a pilgrim centre visited by thousands of devout Hindus every day.
And during the annual pilgrimage to the cave shrine of Amarnath lasting just over a month, Jammu is the transit point for thousands of pilgrims.
Jammu has become a lucrative haven for beggars of all ages, swarming in and around temples, market places, mosques, bus stands and railway station, soliciting generous alms from the public.
Although it is humane to help the needy, the magnitude of beggars has turned into a nuisance for the commoners and the locals.
"I am from Delhi and here in Jammu from last five days. I have known Jammu as the city of temples but I find beggars wherever we go. Small children and women come to us begging for money in the name of god whenever we stop at the traffic signals. They stick to us and force to give them money," said Kuldeep, a tourist.
Most of the beggars adopt dubious modes to win the sympathy of the people like displaying fake injury (bandaged legs or hands), and even pretending to be dumb or blind.
"We came here to earn our living as there is no means of earning elsewhere. People give us food items, money and clothes. I earn around 40 to 50 rupees in a day," said a beggar.
On their part, the top brass of the police in Jammu is of the view that often these beggars take up to petty and also serious crimes and even become conduits of terrorists.
Swatantra Arora, District Superintendent of Police said that the police department has preventive sections to investigate suspicious movement of beggars and these are being executed.If we study deeply into the matter, we will find many criminals who become beggars and priests after committing hideous crimes.
They can also be exploited for some terrorist activities, so we have to keep an eye on them. These beggars exploit the sentiments of the people to a large extent, especially women. They earn their livelihood through this profession of begging," Arora added. (ANI)