Highway traffic restored after 6 hours

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Srinagar: Traffic on 300 km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway, the only road linking the Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, was restored this evening after remaining suspended for over six hours due to protest by students against security force action in Banihal in Jammu region and Pulwama.

“Traffic was restored only the national highway at around 1630 hrs. Hundreds of Jammu bound vehicles, including those carrying passengers, which were stranded on this side of the Banihal due to protests, have been allowed to move towards the winter capital,” officials told UNI.

Hundreds of students, including girls, hit the streets at Banihal on the highway today to protest against security force and police action in Pulwama Degree College in which over 60 students were injured.

Demanding action against Army personnel involved in the incident, the students raised slogans against government and security forces and blocked the highway, disrupting traffic on the highway. They criticized the security forces for using alleged force against students during demonstrations in the valley yesterday.

The students also protested against CRPF for allegedly thrashed some students in village Charheel, who were marching towards main Banihal town in a peaceful procession against Pulwama incident. They alleged security personnel travelling from Srinagar to Jammu manhandled students on the highway at Charheel.

It was only after higher authorities, including from police and civil administration, assured the protesting students that action will be taken against the accused, the students ended the protest.

The government had already ordered closure of all universities, colleges and higher secondary schools in the valley today in view of yesterday’s massive clashes in educational institutions in Kashmir, where mobile internet remained suspended for the second successive day today.

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