Highway ban: J&K parties approach court

  1. The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has issued a notice to the state administration in response to a petition filed by the political parties of J&K.The petition was filed against the ban on civilian traffic along the Udhampur-Baramulla highway.
  2. The petitioner has argued that the order announcing the ban violates the fundamental rights of citizens,including those to life,health,education and livelihood.
  3. Earlier,Jammu and Kashmir administration and Centre had announced that the national highway from Baramulla to Udhampur will be put out of bounds for civilian traffic for two days a week till May 31.No civilian traffic would be allowed during the movement of the paramilitary forces.
  4. The ban on the civilian traffic will be in force for the two days — Sunday and Wednesday — from 4 am to 5 pm till May 31.It will be effective from Baramulla to Udhampur through Srinagar,Qazigund,Jawahar-Tunnel, Banihal and Ramban.
  5. The government has cited the recent suicide bombing of a security forces convoy in Pulwama which killed 40 CRPF personnel as the reason for temporarily blocking part of the highway.Further,the decision was also made in view of the upcoming lok sabha elections.
  6. The Jammu-Srinagar-Uri national highway(NH-1A) runs 370 km.The national highway is not just the only road link that connects Kashmir to the outside world but also the key highway that connects Srinagar with the southern and northern districts of the Valley.The highway passes through five of the 10 districts of the Valley.