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Highway remains out of bounds for civilian traffic even after 5 p.m.

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Sohail Punjabi
Jammu: The Baramulla to Udhampur highway remained out of bounds for people even after 5 p.m. when it was scheduled to open for civilian traffic on Sunday.
Reports said that hundreds of private vehicles were stranded on the highway, the only surface link connecting Kashmir Valley with the rest of the world, in Ramban and other adjoining areas and are not being allowed to move on the thoroughfare despite official restrictions till 5 p.m. only.
SSP Ramban Sunita Sharma said there were landslides at Anokhifall yesterday and it took time for the clearance, leading to delay in movement of the security forces convey there.
“This was first day of the (ban). We request people to cooperate with the administration,” the SSP said.
On April 3, the government banned civilian traffic from dawn to dusk for two days every week on the Highway stretch from Udhampur in Jammu to Baramulla in North Kashmir to “facilitate the movement of government forces convoys.”
The measure has been adopted to facilitate unhindered movement of government forces’ convoys to eliminate the possibility of fidayeen attacks during the ongoing poll process, said government in an official order issued here. The ban on civilian traffic would be effective from Baramulla to Udhampur through Srinagar, Qazigund, Jawahar-Tunnel, Banihal and Ramban, the notification said. The ban would be in force on the two days from 4 am to 5 pm, it added. In case of any emergency requiring passage of civilian vehicle, the police and administrative officials would take appropriate decisions in line with the provisions of movement of civilian traffic during curfews, the notification said.

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