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Passengers face 'imposed' closure of Jmu-Sgr Highway by protestors
Police clueless, disperse in safe zones, high officials conspicuous by absence
8/3/2016 11:15:47 PM
Early Times Report

Jammu, Aug 3: Jammu-Srinagar National Highway which is the main road link connecting Kashmir with rest of India remains snapped for the last few days, courtesy protestors who have made this latest casualty of their violent acts and stone pelting bringing the traffic movement on both sides to halt. While the passengers from both sides are a harried lot due to this 'imposed' disruption, the Police authorities remain clueless, most of them uninformed and even absent from the posts along the Highway nearing villages of Valley.
Sources said thousands of passengers including Amarnath Yatries travelling by various modes of transport have been forced to get stranded at various points on the National Highway as their vehicles faced heavy stoning from violent mobs at many places While this is happening for the last few days, the situation aggravated following death of a protestor on Tuesday at Lethpora village along the National Highway, impelling sudden halt of the vehicular movement from both the sides. This, strangely remains unconfirmed at the official level, said the sources adding that when passengers tried to get a word from the Police or other authorities of Traffic Police, the information was elusive from all quarters.
Sources further said while the government machinery, particularly Police officials have turned almost defunct along a certain stretch on the National Highway, the higher authorities are simply conspicuous by their complete absence from the scene. The presence of higher officials either around nakas or the posts, control room along the Highway which could have proved reassuring to the passengers is surprisingly no where to be seen and if at all some cops appear at some points, they are blissfully unaware of everything, said a passenger from who is stuck for the last two days in Srinagar as he had to come back due to uncertain situation on the Highway. Under present circumstances all the passengers in urgency of travel to either Jammu or Srinagar including a number of students from valley are left with no alternative to travel by air, said another passenger who has been compelled to buy air tickets. However, there is a vast section of labour class who can only afford to travel by road, said the stranded passengers waiting to get situation improved . Sources further said while the police official are first to be targeted by infuriated mob at any point, this is one of the reasons cops are performing duties in plain clothes along the National Highway too. However, since the attack from the protestors is so sudden and intense most of the time, the cops disperse for safety before the stone throwers reach them, one more reason why the pickets are seen without the police men these days, sources said.
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