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Traffic ban tantamount to intrusion on civil liberties: Altaf Bukhari

SRINAGAR, April 4: Former finance minister Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari on Thursday demanded immediate revocation of the anti-people and arbitrary order banning civilian traffic on Srinagar-Jammu highway for two days a week.

In a statement issued here, Bukhari said that prohibiting civilian traffic from Baramulla upto Udhampur via Srinagar, Qazigund, Banihal and Ramban tantamount to confining people of the state to their homes without any reasonable justification.

“This means the government of the day wants to enforce curfew for two days a week without bothering for the miseries it can cause to people. No civilized society on earth can tolerate this type of dictatorial approach,” Bukhari said, while urging the governor to review this order in the interest of public.

The former minister observed that the security forces must adopt other means of hassle free convoy movement without putting the people to immense inconvenience.  “Putting a blanket ban on civilian traffic is no answer to the concerns and requirements of security forces.  To mitigate the inconvenience to the civilians, the administration must evolve necessary mechanism to strike a balance and ensure that no civilian traffic is halted by the convoy movement in the state,” he added.

Bukhari said the traffic ban order would have perilous consequences for the state in view of lack of alternative routes and means of travel available to its people. “This ban has created a chaotic condition among masses. Elections and movement of convoys is nothing new to Kashmir. But one wonders why this decision has been taken without bothering for its consequences. The state should refrain from taking decisions that encroach on civil liberties. Or otherwise, this approach will add to already existing alienation among the people of the state,” he remarked.

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