J&K national highway not closed for civilians: MHA

The Ministry of Home Affairs in a statement clarified that "an impression is being created by some individuals that the national highway has been closed for civilians".

Published: 10th April 2019 06:46 PM  |   Last Updated: 10th April 2019 06:46 PM   |  A+A-

J-K highway closure

Army convoy stranded on the Jammu-Srinagar-Baramulla national highway due to a protest by National Conference Vice-President Omar Abdullah and party leaders against the closure of the highway for safe passage of security forces convoys on the outskirts of Srinagar on Wednesday. (Photo | PTI)

By IANS

NEW DELHI: The Union Home Ministry on Wednesday said some individuals were "deliberately" spreading "mischievous disinformation" about recently imposed traffic curbs on the national highway in J&K, claiming the highway has been closed for civilians.

The Ministry of Home Affairs in a statement clarified that "an impression is being created by some individuals that the national highway has been closed for civilians".

"This is farthest from the truth. The Jammu and Kashmir government has already clarified in unambiguous terms, out of seven days in a week, only reasonable restrictions have been imposed, that too for 12 hours, two days in a week. This has been done to ensure safe movement of forces and at the same time minimising the inconvenience to public," the statement said.

During this period of 12 hours, the statement said, alternative routes such as old National Highway and other internal roads are available for civilians without any hassles.

"The total duration of prohibition is for 24 hours out of 168 hours in a week, which amounts to only 15 per cent of the time."

Restrictions were in place in Jammu and Kashmir earlier also and are imposed from time to time in other parts of the country for movement of the convoys of security forces, it said.

While regulations for movement of civilian traffic were already in place during convoy movement, the Jammu and Kashmir government has now come out with a planned movement of security forces on national highway for a short duration for example up to May 31, just for a total of 15 days, keeping in view the convoy efficiency and security of the personnel.

The move was taken particularly in the backdrop of February 14 Pulwama attack that claimed lives of 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel and a similar unsuccessful attempt on March 31, said the statement.

"The restrictions have been re-imposed, after taking into account the requirements of students, patients and also ensuring minimum public hindrance. A robust mechanism to facilitate the public by the administration for exceptions and emergencies has also been ensured."

Further, a mechanism has also been put in place to review these restrictions from time to time.

The Ministry said that certain vested interests are raking up this issue with utter disregard to the precious lives of security personnel that could be lost in Pulwama like attacks and are sensationalising the issue without any consideration for national security.

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