Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday appealed to governor Satya Pal Malik to review the order banning civilian traffic for two days on the Jammu-Srinagar highway.
The government on Wednesday announced that there shall be no movement of civilian traffic on the highway from Udhampur in Jammu till Baramulla in north Kashmir for two days every week to facilitate movement of forces for the upcoming parliamentary elections.
Addressing a gathering in Rafiabad area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, Omar appealed the governor to review the ban. He said that the movement of security forces could be managed through train between Baramulla and Banihal.
Omar also targeted the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying the ban indicated how grave situation was in the state. He said during the three decades of militancy in the state they never felt like taking such measures despite a very bad situation.
“Has anyone in the administration applied their minds before planning to issue this highway closure order? J&K is not Chhattisgarh or Andhra Pradesh where there are alternate routes. Here if you close the national highway you shut down all access to the valley. This is a lifeline,” Omar wrote on Twitter.
“Another 1st for the Modi government after the 1st ever delayed assembly election now this shocker – never before in 30 years has the national highway ever been closed for civilian traffic like this. It’s a glaring admission of failure to manage the internal security of J&K,” Omar said.
“Patients will not be able to reach hospitals, students will be deprived access to schools, employees won’t be able to reach work and the list goes on & on. There has to be a better, less people unfriendly way of protecting forces using the highway.”
Omar also suggested a “safer and more comfortable” special trains to travel from Banihal to Baramulla instead of closing the main road.
“I’ve made this suggestion before & in light of today’s highway closure order I feel the need to repeat it – why can’t the forces travel between Banihal & Baramulla by special trains? Quicker, safer & more comfortable for the security forces,” Omar wrote.