The Jammu and Kashmir government on Tuesday decided to relax all restrictions on the movement of civilian traffic on the National Highway-44 connecting Srinagar with Jammu from Monday (May 27). The restriction was imposed after the Pulwama attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed.
Citing the upcoming Amarnath Yatra, the J&K government said there will be no further restriction in civilian traffic and the highway will be open to all on all days of the week starting Monday.
“After a detailed review with all security agencies, civil and police administration in connection with the preparations for the Amarnath Yatra, the Governor directed that there should be no restriction on civilian movement on NH 44 from Monday,” the official statement read.
The administration’s decision to restrict traffic movement on the 270-km stretch of the national highway from Udhampur to Baramulla to two days a week (Sunday and Wednesday) was met with criticism from all quarters in Kashmir. Last week, the governor relaxed the restrictions to once a week, on Sundays.
The Jammu-Srinagar-Uri national highway, directly and indirectly, impacts a population of over 69 lakh. This was the first time in three decades of militancy in Kashmir that the highway had been closed for civilian traffic for two days of the week.
The restrictions were necessary for the safe movement of security forces after the Pulwama terror attack, the statement read. The forces were required both for anti-militancy operations and for smooth conduct of general elections.
Thanking the public for their cooperation, Governor Satya Pal Malik said the measures were necessitated in the larger interest of the state and for the welfare of the people.