Military might?: Govt. bans Kashmiris for using national highway for two days a week

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Srinagar-Jammu highway

By Muslim Mirror

Srinagar : In a decision that has rolled eyeballs, the J&K government on Tuesday banned civilian traffic for two days-Sunday and Wednesday-on Srinagar-Jammu highway and only government forces convoy will be allowed to proceed from 4am to 5pm for those days.

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Keeping in view the large movement of forces on the highway during the Parliamentary Elections and possibility of any fidayeen attack, the J&K government has notified these two days in a week for the movement of security forces from Srinagar to Jammu, a government spokesperson in a handout said.

“To mitigate the inconvenience to the civilians by this move, the government has notified two dedicated days in a week i.e, (Sunday & Wednesday) exclusively for movement of security forces Convoys and there would be a complete ban on civilian traffic on the National Highway during these two days from 4 AM to 5 PM.”

“This prohibition would be from Baramulla through Srinagar, Qazigund, Jawahar-Tunnel, Banihal and Ramban till Udhampur,” it said.

The order attracted criticism from the two major political parties in the state. “Last I checked, we were a democracy. But this sounds like a diktat of Martial Law. After bringing Kashmir to the brink, the administration is adamant on ensuring collective punishment for Kashmiris,” Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti tweeted after the notification was issued.

National Conference leader Omar Abdullah, also a former CM of J&K, called the highway a lifeline.

“Has anyone in the administration applied their minds before planning to issue this highway closure order? J&K is not Chhattisgarh or Andhra Pradesh where there are alternate routes. Here if you close the national highway you shut down all access to the valley…,” he tweeted.

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