‘Multiple factors responsible for closing highway for twice a week, Banihal incident major reason’
Srinagar, April 04: As the government decision to bar the civilian traffic movement on the Srinagar-Jammu highway has triggered a massive uproar from both mainstream and separatist quarters, the officials revealed that the move is to thwart the repeat of Lethpora, Pulwama type suicide attack as militants seems to be desperate to use same modus operandi to target forces.
Many officials in the security grid opined that the recent abortive bid at Banihal where the driver of the vehicle jumped out of the vehicle as his car failed to blew up despite being laden with enough explosive material including a live IED and many gelatin sticks.
“We don’t want to take any chance. There are multiple factor responsible for the decision of barring civilian traffic on Srinagar-Jammu highway and one of the major reasons is to ensure there is no repeat of suicide attacks on the forces convoys,” a top official revealed to KNO.
The state’s home department on Wednesday issued an order stating to prevent the fidayeen strike and to ensure the smooth mobilisation of forces in the wake of parliamentary polls, the Srinagar-Jammu highway will remain closed for the civilian traffic twice a week—Sunday and Wednesday.
The order, however, has a mention that emergency vehicles will be allowed after proper clearance by the traffic and police department.
The decision has already triggered a massive wave of anger among the mainstream camp and the separatist factions who have termed it as a decision against the will of people.
National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti have made it as a poll plank stating the decision to prevent civilian vehicles form plying on the Srinagar-Jammu highway should be revoked while as the Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq called the government decision as highly authoritarian.
A senior security official, wishing not to be named, disclosed to KNO, that there are reports that Jaish-e-Muhammad may carry out Lethpora type again on the forces during the poll days to show their presence and to inflict as much as possible damage to forces.
“To ensure no civilian vehicle travels on the highway when convoy movement is on, only forces vehicles will move on the highway till May 31,” he said, adding, that “forces mobilisation is part of the election process as some forces have to move from Srinagar to Jammu and vice-versa.”
He said that the convoy movement on the highway will allowed after proper road clearance by the road opening parties of CRPF that is primarily responsible road clearance process