Omar Questions Rationale Behind Closing Jammu-Srinagar Highway

SRINAGAR — National Conference leader Omar Abdullah Monday questioned the rationale behind closing the Jammu-Srinagar-Baramulla National Highway for civilian traffic on Sundays and Wednesday if state forces convoys could ply on the same road on other days of the week as well.

The former chief minister posted a video on his Twitter handle showing a long convoy of security forces moving on the highway on Monday while civilian traffic also plied side by side.

“Here’s another full strength convoy. I’m simply trying to highlight the point that the architects of the highway closure have made no application of mind. Somehow this convoy on the highway is safe today but it wouldn’t have been yesterday (Sunday) & won’t be on Wednesday,” he tweeted.

“If it is safe for SF convoys to move on Monday WITHOUT closing the highway to civilian traffic, why is it not safe on Wednesdays & Sundays? Nothing proves the mindlessness of the order more than army movement on ‘unsafe’ days. This road is part of the highway by the way,” he added.

The government last week banned all civilian vehicles from plying on the national highway from Udhampur to Baramulla via Srinagar on Sundays and Wednesdays in order to facilitate safe movement of state forces convoys which are being moved around for election duty in the state.

The ban, which came into force on 7 April, has drawn widespread criticism from mainstream political parties in Kashmir.  (PTI)

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