Is the Srinagar-Jammu NH Ban on Civilian Traffic an Attempt to Communalize the Yatra?

Image Credit : Kupwaratimes.com

SRINAGAR | The protests in Srinagar are growing accompanied by disillusionment and anger among the locals who were solely dependent on the yatra season to secure a livelihood that would last them for the larger part of the year.

The protest in Srinagar is against the government’s ban on all kinds of civilian vehicles passing through the Jammu-Sringara highway during the Amarnath yatra. The ban will be in place for five hours a day for the duration of the yatra. It was in order to protest this ban that the Peoples United Front( a forum that is an alliance of bureaucrat turned politician Shah Faesal’s party and former MLA Sheikh Abdul Rashid came together to organise a sit-in dharna on Friday.

The members of the front were being led by Shehla Rashid and collectively staged the protest against the decision at the Press Enclave. The ban imposes ban on civilian traffic from 10 am to 3.30 pm from the highway from Nashri to Qazigund till the yatra gets over.

Shehla Rashid said that the ban on civilian traffic on the highway is nothing but a gross violation of the fundamental rights of the Kashmiri people. The leaders of the forum argued that the centre was unnecessarily communalising the issue for political gains and that for decades the Kashmiri people had worked towards making the Amarnath yatra a success.  People from all walks of life whether it is the common people, patients, and businessmen feel troubled by the decision as it shall radically impact their day to day lives.  The front demands the immediate lifting of the ban.

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While the authorities said that the restrictions have been imposed to allow for the incident-free passage of pilgrims, the people of Kashmir argue that this move will completely go against them and will impact their lives.

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