LoC at Uri Opens For Two Passengers

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SRINAGAR: The Line of Control (LoC) on Monday evening opened for a sort of emergency crossing when two residents of Kashmir were permitted to cross even as the route is closed for almost eight weeks now. The window is closed for civilian traffic in wake of the damage to the Kaman Bridge that connects Kashmir with Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK).

“Under a special arrangement, we permitted two persons,” Deputy Commissioner Baramulla Dr G N Itto said. “One was a female passenger who was stuck up on the other side and another was a Karnah civilian who was accidentally crossed the LoC.”

Dr Itoo said the two sides had made an arrangement and the crossing took place on Monday. “We have six residents from the other side in Kashmir who also want to go home,” the DC said. “We are making arrangements for their return because the bus is not plying because of the damage to the bridge.”

Officials said the Karnah resident who had accidentally crossed the LoC was identified as Manzoor Ahmad son of Nizamuddin, a resident of Tangdar. Another was a lady, a Srinagar resident who had gone to see her relatives but was stuck up, there. One report, not immediately confirmed, said actually two passengers – both females – one from Srinagar and another from Sopore, and the male who had strayed the line of control accidentally crossed over.

Unlike the Uri window, the Chanda da Bagh opening is operational. On Monday, reports said 28 passengers, all residents of PaK reached Poonch. Of them, 23 reached Poonch and five returned back.

The bus service at Uri is operational since April 2005 and on Poonch – Rawlakot sector since June 20, 2006.

The trade on both the windows that was started late 2008 has recently been suspended. The Home Ministry has issued a detailed statement offering reasons for closing the barter trade and Pakistan has taken a strong exception to the move. The LoC traders have been protesting against the extreme decision-making.

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