THOUSANDS of people, including women and children, were stranded along the 300-km long Jammu-Srinagar national highway as traffic police did not allow any vehicle move towards Valley from Jammu side on Monday. The restrictions following the Kashmir bandh called by separatist Hurriyat in view of the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Sabzar Bhat and imposition of curfew like restrictions by police and security forces in parts of the Valley to check violence incident. “We only received orders from higher ups to stop movement of Valley bound vehicles and since yesterday, we have not allowed any,’’ said an official at Traffic Police Control Room at Ramban.
On Sunday, skeleton traffic especially light motor vehicles were allowed to ply towards Valley side, but their movement was completely stopped ahead of Banihal on Monday morning. However, to avoid congestion in Banihal town, police had diverted a number of stranded vehicles towards local railway station road and the ground in front of it.
Sources said that nearly 200 vehicles, mostly light motor vehicles were stranded at Banihal alone. There were nearly 1,000 trucks and nearly 150 passenger vehicles stranded at Jakheni near Udhampur. There were also vehicles stopped at Nagrota and Ramban.
On Monday morning, police had started stopping Valley moving towards Valley at Nagrota itself, but a number of them managed to proceed ahead by giving wrong information about their destination. The train service from Banihal to Valley has already been suspended since Sunday and all the schools there closed following apprehension of disturbances.