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Mehbooba asks people to defy highway ban in J&K

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Mehbooba asks people to defy highway ban in J&K

Srinagar: Former Chief Minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday asked people to defy ban on highway in Jammu and Kashmir and also warned India of a Palestine-like situation in Kashmir.

Protesting against the national highway ban on civilian traffic on the national highway on Sundays and Wednesdays, Mufti said in Pantha Chowk area of Srinagar on Wednesday: “Jammu and Kashmir’s relation with New Delhi is not like a Palestine-Israel relation. If New Delhi wants to convert our relation like the Palestine-Israel, then they have to be ready for a Palestine like situation as well.”

She told people to defy the highway ban order as it amounted to subjugation of Kashmiris and their economy.

“People should drive their vehicles on the highway to defy the order. We will see who takes action against them,” she said during the protest.

The decision to ban civilian and public transport on the national highway on Sundays and Wednesdays was taken by the state government to ensure safety of security forces convoys on the highway.

The decision was taken in the aftermath of February 14 terror strike on the highway in Pulwama district in which 40 CRPF troopers were killed.

Authorities have said the ban would not apply to medical emergencies, movement of lawyers, doctors, tourists, government employees, school buses and agriculturalists.

Authorities said magistrates have been deputed on all crossings on the national highway to permit bona fide civilian movement.

The decision to selectively allow civilian movement has not been able to address the common man’s anger.

Local traders dealing in perishable items like vegetables, mutton and other such items argue their goods perish on storage as they are unable to carry on normal business during Sundays and Wednesdays in markets on the flanks of the national highway.

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