|How we did not meet gun-totting militants, and more
||[May. 5th, 2009|09:23 pm]
After taking the not so dangerous road from Killar, we were passing through Kishtwar late in the afternoon when we saw a direction board saying the road to the right went to Anantnag; Anantnag being a town on the way to Srinagar where we were heading the next day, and seeing a new road and that too a shortcut had us immediately making the turn and stopping at a tea shop to confirm the direction and the road. We learnt that it was a road that went through Singtam Top and there were a lot of checkposts on the way. We started off and soon reached the first army checkpost at Bhandakot and had to show ID cards and answer questions on what we were doing there and where we were heading, where were we from before they let us through; the security here is strict: a mini bus that went in front of us had to stop and all the passengers had to get down and undergo inspection before the bus moved forward. And this was just the first one, the next town had an STF checkpost where they doubted whether our long backpacks carried any guns and one of them took me to the side and told me that since my name sounded Hindu it was not safe to go ahead. After crossing another army checkpost, we were at Chchatru, from where we had to return: the person at the police station informed us that there was no army presence for many kilometers after Chingam and that was where we could be caught at gunpoint and that would mean they would have to come searching for us and so he would not allow us to go any further; even though Sumos and mini-buses run this route.
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Part of 'The Trip/2007', Aug/Sep/Oct/Nov.