Highway was not even closed during Kargil war: Farooq
Srinagar, Apr 4: The Jammu-Kashmir highway was not closed even
during the Kargil war when intelligence reports suggested suicide attackers
were at large, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah said on
Thursday, a day after the government decided to block the road lifeline for two
days a week.
“What is happening for God’s sake? Are you trying to make
Kashmir a colony of the British?” an anguished Abdullah asked and termed
the Governor Satya Pal Malik led administration’s decision interference with a
citizen’s fundamental rights.
According to the order issued on Wednesday by state Home
Secretary Shaleen Kabra, no civilian traffic will be allowed to move from
Baramulla in north Kashmir to Udhampur in Jammu region on Sundays and
Wednesdays till May 31.
The restrictions on civilian traffic on the 271-km highway will
remain in force from 4 am to 5 pm, said the order, which follows the suicide
attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama. The highway passes through important towns
such as Anantnag, Awantipora, Pampore, Srinagar, Pattan and Baramulla.
“The fundamental rights of people are being tampered
with,” Abdullah said.
Such a decision flies in the face of the BJP-led Central
government’s assertion that the security situation in the state had improved,
“We brought the state from the 1989 turmoil to 2014 when
tourism was booming the state and separatists had become redundant. Look where
we are now?” asked the National Conference patron, who is contesting the
Lok Sabha elections from Srinagar. “We have never seen such a situation.
Even during Kargil war when intelligence reports suggested suicide attackers were
roaming, such a decision was never taken,” he added.
Those who had passed such orders were acting as a rubber stamp
for Delhi and only worsening the life of the people in the state, Abdullah
“The national highway is the lifeline of people. Patients
pass (through the highway), marriages take place, tourists come… Those passing such orders must have
surrendered their ability to think before acting,” he said.
In case of an emergency requiring the passage of a civilian
vehicle, police and administrative officials will take appropriate decisions in
line with the provisions for movement of civilian traffic during curfews, it