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States » North

Ban on civilian traffic on highway continues to affect life in Kashmir

Srinagar, Apr 21 (UNI) People continued to suffer in the Valley as the civilian traffic on the Kashmir-Jammu National Highway (NH) was once again suspended on Sunday in view of two-day weekly ban to allow free and secure movement of security force convoy.
However, the restrictions imposed on civilian traffic between Srinagar and Baramulla in north Kashmir has been limited to only Sundays with effect from Monday though the two-day restriction in week on Srinagar-Jammu national highway will continue.

Despite ban on civilian traffic on the highway on Sundays and Wednesdays in a week, the security forces were continuing their convoy movements on the highway on all days of the week.

Meanwhile, business in weekly Sunday market, which used to attract thousands of customers from different part of the valley, was badly affected due to the ban as all the districts in the valley are interconnected with the national highway.

The Jammu and Kashmir High Court (HC) on Friday sought the government's response on allegations of non-compliance with an administrative decision to issue travel passes for civilian traffic movement in case of emergencies the ban.

The highway wore a deserted look with only security forces, state police and Army personnel deployed in strength to prevent people from moving towards the highway though it is said that security force convoy, which left Jammu, will enter Kashmir only in the afternoon.

But, district authorities have appointed nodal officers to help people to cross the highway at important places.
Majority of the political parties in the state, including National Conference (NC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Congress, have opposed the ban and demanded its immediate revocation.
Three former chief ministers, including NC president Farooq Abdullah, vice-president Omar Abdullah and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, even staged protest demonstrations separately on the highway against the ban.
The Government had imposed restrictions earlier this month on civilian movement on the National Highway, connecting Jammu to Srinagar, saying that the order was passed to ensure adequate security to the movement of security force convoys, while at the same time, minimising public inconvenience.

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