Highway Closure Opens Floodgates Of Ridicule   

SRINAGAR — The government’s order that there shall be no movement of civilian traffic on the Srinagar-Jammu highway for two days (Sunday and Wednesday) every week to facilitate movement of forces for the upcoming parliamentary elections Thursday drew sharp criticism from different quarters.

Social media was flooded with reactions ridiculing the order.

 “Policies imported from Israel will turn Kashmir into Palestine. The decision to close national highway to civilian traffic on every Wednesday and Sunday is extremely shocking,” tweeted Shah Faesal, the former bureaucrat asking Home Minister Rajnath Singh, how will the employees attend office? How will patients travel? School children?”

Senior journalist Haridner Baweja in her tweet said that, “closing the Jammu Srinagar highway is the worst anti-People move I’ve seen in 30 years of militancy. Hundreds of schools and hospitals can only be accessed via this crucial road. Stark admission that the mighty security forces can only rule through force. Expect further alienation.” She added: “so every Sunday and Wednesday, most parts of the Valley will truly be ‘occupied’ by the forces. In the midst of the Election.  Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti may not be able to campaign. What a shame. Kashmir truly is just real estate.”

Journalist Sagrika Kissu said she had written a letter to Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh asking him to revoke the order. “GOI’s decision to restrict civilian traffic in Kashmir should be withdrawn as soon as possible before it agonizes Kashmiris more. In this context, I have written a letter to Rajnath  Singh seeking revocation of this decision.” 

Renowned author and senior journalist Mirza Waheed tweeted: “Banning civilians from a crucial highway in Kashmir is unjust, discriminatory, and reflects an apartheidist mindset among policymakers in Delhi.”

Senior journalist Nazir Masoodi termed the decision as Taghluqi firman. “Normally, someone in the government should have been held accountable for failure to prevent attack but they chose to punish entire population by banning traffic for 2 days a week,” he tweeted while another journalist Gowhar Geelani in response to his tweet said “now there is no shame. They are happily ruling a colony.”


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