Civil Rights Group Condemns J&K Highway Ban

SRINAGAR — National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), a grouping of civil and human rights organisations in India said ban on civilian traffic on Baramulla-Udhampur highway for two days ‘reaffirmed the suspicion that BJP led government is ideologically attracted to the shameful policies of Israel with regard to Palestine’.

 

Demanding its immediate withdrawal, it said the ban has parallels also with the apartheid in South Africa and the Nazi treatment of Jews in Hitler’s Germany.

 

“This is an unfair, undemocratic and draconian step, which goes against the Indian Constitution,” it said in a statement, “This is yet another in a series of unacceptable measures taken by the Narendra Modi government in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, the most recent being the closing of a number of link roads to the same highway.”

 

The J&K government since last week banned civilian traffic on the Barmulla-Udhampur highway for two days a week and allowing only government forces convoy on Sunday and Wednesday. The move has come under sharp criticism from political parties and a petition has been filed in J&K High Court challenging the order.

 

“This move is clearly an assault on J&K’s economy,” said NAPM national leaders such as Medha Patkar, Aruna Roy, Nikhil Dey, Shankar Singh and others.

 

Underlining the highway is the only surface link to Kashmir and thus a lifeline to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, it said the prohibition will harm the studies of students, the employment of workers, the agriculture of farmers, the business of traders.

 

Yet again, the government is using the cover of national security to heap misery on the people of Jammu and Kashmir, it said adding, “Given the existence of a Railway line from Banihal to Baramulla, this step is needless.

 

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