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Decision to close Jammu-Srinagar highway must be revoked: Omar Abdullah


National Conference leader Omar Abdullah Thursday termed the order banning civilian traffic on the Jammu-Kashmir highway for two days a week as “unprecedented” and demanded its “immediate revocation”.

Addressing an election campaign rally at Rafiabad in in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, Abdullah said closing the highway was a glaring admission of failure by the government in managing the state’s internal security and a direct consequence of the PDP’s tie-up with the BJP.

He also accused the Peoples Democratic Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of practising “opportunistic politics”.

“The embrace of PDP with BJP wreaked havoc on the security situation in the state. It is for the first time in history that highways are being closed for civilian traffic for two days,” the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said.

“This is an unprecedented situation and has never happened in the last three decades,” he added.

Abdullah was reacting to a government order banning the movement of civilian vehicles on the 300-km long highway on Sundays and Wednesdays between 4 am and 5 pm to ensure safe passage of security forces’ vehicles.

The restrictions will remain in force till May 31.

The NC vice president further said that the state had faced dire security situation since 1989 but the highways were never shut.

“The state has witnessed numerous attacks on its vital installations for the last 30 years, but barring civilian traffic from highways is unprecedented and has never happened before,” he said.

“This imprudent order therefore needs to be revoked immediately,” he added.

“How will the patients who are referred to city hospitals reach SMHS or SKIMS? Why should students suffer who will be not be able to attend schools? How will people reach to their places of work? What will happen to those who are faced with any other emergencies?,” he said further.


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