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Restrictions on civilian traffic on Sgr-Jmu nat’l highway further relaxed

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Srinagar, May 07: Restrictions on the movement of civilian traffic on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway were further relaxed on Tuesday, with the authorities partially lifting the ban on public vehicles on the Srinagar-Udhampur stretch.

The restrictions on civilian traffic in the Srinagar-Udhampur section of the national highway-44 will be lifted on Wednesdays with effect from May 23, official statement said.

“The prohibition on civilian traffic in this stretch would now be only on Sunday(s),” it said.

The authorities had earlier relaxed the restrictions on the Srinagar-Baramulla stretch.

The restrictions on civilian traffic two days a week were enforced after a Jaish-e-Mohammed suicide attacker rammed his explosive-laden vehicle into a bus in a CRPF convoy, killing 40 personnel on February 14.

The official statement said that the government has been reviewing the restrictions imposed earlier this month on civilian movement on the national highway with a view to balancing the security needs of forces’ convoys with the need for minimizing public inconvenience.

“These restrictions had become necessary following the large movement of security forces on an unprecedented scale after the Pulwama attack. These forces were required both for anti-militancy operations and for conducting general elections peacefully,” the statement said.

It said the government is alive to the needs of citizens and has once again reviewed the requirement of security forces.

“Following the completion of elections in Pulwama and Shopian districts and as the requirement of security forces is now reducing, the government has decided to further relax the restrictions on traffic imposed earlier,” the statement said.

It said the local administration would continue to facilitate movement of civilian traffic as has been happening so far, including by allowing public transport of JKSRTC to move during the period of restrictions on the national highway.

The statement also said a complete review of remaining restrictions on the highway would be done subsequently.

It said the “purpose of these restrictions is in the larger interest of security of everyone” and appealed the people to extend cooperation in the smooth regulation of traffic.

“The restrictions strike a balance between the needs of people and inconvenience caused to them on one side and the needs of security forces. The restrictions will continue to be reviewed on a real time basis and modifications will be made as necessary in the coming days,” the statement added.

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