Highway closure: It is martial law, Mehbooba says

Srinagar

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday termed the decision to close Kashmir highway for civilian traffic a martial law.

Taking to microblogging site Twitter Mehbooba wrote: “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.”

The former Chief Minister was reacting to a government order banning the movement of civilian vehicles on the highway on Sundays and Wednesdays between 4 am and 5 pm to ensure the safe passage of forces’ vehicles.

Earlier, the State Government of J&K notified specified days in a week for the movement of government forces from Srinagar to Jammu. According to order, during these days, no civilian traffic would be allowed on National Highway.

The government has notified two dedicated days in a week i.e, (Sunday & Wednesday) exclusively for movement of government forces convoys and there would be a complete ban on civilian traffic on the 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.

The Government has further decided that in the event of any requirement for local traffic movement for any emergency or for another purpose, the local administration and police would evolve necessary procedures for this as is done during curfew days. These restrictions would remain in force till May 31 2019.

It would be recalled that the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, during his visit to Kashmir post-Pulwama attack in February 2019, had announced that no civilian traffic movement would be allowed during the convoy days.

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