J&K govt. continues with blanket ban on civilian traffic
By Thehindu 12-Jul-2019
A spokesman of the traffic department in Kashmir issued these directions on Thursday that no movement of any type of vehicle shall be allowed on the 73-km stretch of the national highway between Nashree and Qazigund during restricted hours from 10 a.m. till 3 p.m. Only vehicles carrying pilgrims for the Amarnath yatra were allowed during the restricted period.
However, Mr. Khan on Wednesday claimed there was no blanket ban on the highway “but regulation of traffic.” The statement came days after Governor Satya Pal Malik said the restriction hours were reduced to two hours from six.
Locals and drivers on the highway in south Kashmir complained of regular halt of civilian traffic during the restricted time.
National Conference president and MP from Srinagar Farooq Abdullah said “people were being intimidated on the national highway.” “Every now and then we see the Governor administration come up with reckless diktats of all sorts. The divisional administration is also giving misleading statements in this context. The people, especially the traders, students, and patients are at the receiving end of this,” Dr. Abdullah said.
Many commuters on Thursday posted videos online where ambulances were also stopped during the restricted hours. “There are frequent incidents of civilians being thrashed by security forces in a scuffle over the restrictions,” said Nazeer Ahmad, a resident of Anantnag.
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