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1-min read

Centre Kept Citizens' Security in Mind When Imposing Highway Ban, Says J&K High Court in Interim Order

The highway closure was imposed by the government two months after the suicide attack in Pulwama on a CRPF convoy that killed 40 paramilitary jawans.

Aakash Hassan | News18.com@Aakashhassan

Updated:April 10, 2019, 11:16 PM IST
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Centre Kept Citizens' Security in Mind When Imposing Highway Ban, Says J&K High Court in Interim Order
Stranded vehicles wait for the national highway to open on the outskirts of Jammu. (PTI)
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Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Wednesday said that authorities had kept in mind not just the "safety and security of the security Forces' convoy, but also of the citizens of the state" when imposing the partial ban on the national highway connecting Jammu and Srinagar.

The court added that the order is for a limited duration, prohibiting civilian movement between 4 am to 5 pm on two days a week until May 31.

The highway closure was imposed by the government two months after the suicide attack in Pulwama on a CRPF convoy that killed 40 paramilitary jawans.

"The decisions taken at the senior level meeting held on 05.04.2019 and 09.04.2019, manifest that the respondents are themselves cognizant of the convenience of the citizens of the state of J&K,” the court said in an interim order.

While the order has been criticised by most of the political parties owing to the difficulties caused to the civilians, the court has observed that it is also being done for the security of the civilians.

"It appears that every effort is being made to ensure safety and the security of not only the security Forces but also of the citizens as also their convenience," the division bench said in the interim order.​

The Ministry of Home Affais had defended the closure after being asked to file its reply to the high court. The government has been given till April 19 to respond to a bunch of petitions challenging the decision.

In its statement, the ministry gave statistics in its defence stating the total duration of prohibition is for 24 hours out of 168 hours in a week, which amounts to only 15 per cent of the time.
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