Army To Secure Key Highways

Srinagar:The army has decided to deploy troops to sanitise important highways and roads in Kashmir starting Thursday, to ensure smooth traffic movement in the violence-plagued valley.

It will be for the first time troops will be on the roads to ensure the security of the highways in Kashmir, including the national highway 1A, which connects the valley with the rest of India.

 “The army was moving during the nights not because we could not take care of the roads, but essentially for two reasons — one, we wanted to avoid collateral damage and because of the Haj period till tomorrow. We will start moving during the day from tomorrow onwards,” Lt General Satish Dua, Chinar Corps commander, told reporters in Srinagar on Thursday.

"From tomorrow onwards the traffic will be normal for both the civil as well as army," Lt Gen Dua said.

An army convoy was attacked by militants on the Srinagar–Baramulla national highway in the wee hours of Wednesday morning that resulted in the deaths of two soldiers and a policeman. Security experts say, the decision to move convoys in the day might have been taken after the attack.

But, Lt Gen Dua, however chose to differ.

He said the decisions was not taken after the attack but to make sure highways in Kashmir are secured and there is free movement of both civilian and an army convoys.

“It has nothing to with the attack on the army,” Lt Gen Dua said.

This would for the first time, since the ongoing unrest began in the valley on 8 July after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani, that army convoys would be moving during the day.

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