Srinagar: Even as Kashmir continues to be witnessing its “worst-ever humanitarian crises” for the past around two months, Bharatiya Janta Party senior leader, Henna Bhat here somehow happened to taste how a woman feels when whistled at by paramilitary CRPF Jawans on a besieged street.
Henna, was driving her sedan, in Jawahar Nagar locality of the civil lines, when a whistle blown by paramilitary deployment at a distance was enough to break the frightening calm on the deserted street.
The high profile politician from the ruling party was conspicuous for driving all alone. Though she is otherwise escorted by security forces, this time there was even no Personal Security Officer with her on the day when the visiting All Party Delegation of Parliament was here. She was driving from an inner lane towards the main road, when two paramilitary men whistled.
Presuming that it targeted her, she instantly stopped not to move even an inch in the same Amira Kadal constituency from where she lost Assembly elections to PDP’s Syed Altaf Bukhari. .
Incidentally a car driving down the main road also stopped at the other end. After a minute or two, a cop came forward, asking CRPF men to let the vehicle on the main road take left towards the inner street, where Henna was halting.
Sources in police said the deployment in the area was on high alert as a delegation of MPs including Assad Ud Din Owaisi, Sitaram Yechury, D Raja and Sharad Yadav were about to drive down the route for a prospective meeting with separatist leaders including Syed Ali Geelani caged in the south City.
Finding the other vehicle come in, Henna Bhat rolled down her windscreen to have a word with the other driver, who was equally concerned about the safety of the lonely woman. She was seen correcting her veil to keep her head and ears covered.
Though the other driver slowed down his vehicle, Henna now reversed her vehicle, to come face to face, for a word with the driver, and removed her goggles. “Why are they asking me to stop?” the apparently worried Henna, asked.
The man while replying her struggled to recognize the face covered in Dupatta. But it looked familiar. Suddenly he recapped to inquire if she was Henna Bhat. The reply was in affirmative.
After a brief conversation, that there was nothing to worry, the driver made a courtesy offer, if he should escort her. “No thank you, now I am convinced, I will go myself,” the woman said.
As she sped her car, she was stopped by CRPF personnel nearby. She told them she was a BJP leader, and she was let go.
Meanwhile a senior official in the civil administration said it was a serious security lapse that the BJP leader was out without escort. “We will ask SSP Security to look into the matter… How can she afford to go out alone in such a sensitive situation,” he said.
Despite repeated attempts, Henna Bhat could not be contacted for comments.