The Highway Closure

2 mins read
Security Forces

The Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik issued an unprecedented order of closing Udhampur-Baramulla National highway for civilian traffic for twice a week till May 31ist. The highway shuts for all the civilian traffic on every Sunday and Wednesday on the security grounds and paving a smooth passage for security forces deployed in valley for election purposes.
According to SAC, the decision was taken due to prevailing threat on National Highway and upsurge in militant related attacks on security forces, especially after a deadly Lethpora attack on February 14 this year. Last month a mysterious blast in a car at Ramban during the movement of security forces convoy also triggered panic and the National Investigation Agency (NIA), was directed to probe the incident. Hundreds of troops have been mobilized to valley for the conduct of smooth and incident free Lok Sabha elections, scheduled to be held in five rounds.
On the other side the situation in Kashmir is relatively concerning for the regime of the day. Any attack on security forces in Kashmir valley will have serious consequences for the BJP led NDA during the ongoing poll process. So BJP would not try to take any risk and the decision has been taken in the same context. However, back in the valley it has triggered a massive outrage in all the political circles from separatists to mainstream. The decision has been called an anti people. While Separatists called this decision as harassment of Kashmiri people on the pattern of Palestinians by Jews in Israel, the mainstream parties too showed their anger.
Equally, on digital and social media platforms, the people have sharply reacted to the decision of Satya Pal Malik. However, the Raj Bhawan has later cleared the decision and said that it will allow medical and other emergencies on roads to ply besides the government employees. Malik even said that no such decision will be taken that will pain Kashmiris. But mere words could not cool down the anger seething in the valley over these unprecedented directions. Technically speaking this decision is unique of its kind given to last thirty years of insurgency in valley.
Till 2002, all the civilian vehicles were stopped from plying on road during the movement of army convoys. But there was no such decision when entirely the day would be spared for the movement of army convoys. The governor however has said that the decision was aimed to ensure safety of both security forces and the civilians, because the highway has turned prone to militants attacks in the past few years and have inflicted huge causalities on security forces. But, it is yet to be seen in the broader context how it will help new Delhi to secure its political and security interests in valley when the people and the regime of the day is falling apart.
In any democratic republics peace and prosperity is ensured when both the government and the people are on the same page. No regime can succeed in its motives while pushing its public to the wall. On the security front, it may yield the positive results but on ground the majority of the public is on the receiving end. The existing alienation among the general masses in valley may further widen with such measures and government must understand that.

Latest from Archives