Srinagar, Apr 10 : Hitting out at Home Ministry for defending the move to impose ban on civilian movement for two days in a week on Kashmir-Jammu national highway, former chief minister of J&K Omar Abdullah alleged there is hardly a word of truth in it.
“This press release sets a new record for the number of untruths told in the same statement. I don’t know where to start with the sheer lies being told by this unnamed “senior MHA official” except to say there is hardly a word of truth in it,” Mr Abdullah, who is the National Conference (NC) Vice President, wrote on micro-blogging site twitter.
Along with the text, Mr Abdullah also twitted a copy of the Home Ministry statement attributed to a senior MHA official.
In the statement, the ministry said a "deliberate and mischievous disinformation" being spread about the recently imposed traffic restrictions on the national highway connecting Jammu with Kashmir Valley.
“The state government of Jammu and Kashmir has already clarified in unambiguous terms, that out of seven days in a week, only reasonable restrictions have been imposed, that too for 12 hours, two days in a week. This has been done to ensure safe movement of forces and at the same time minimising the inconvenience to public,” it stated.
The total duration of prohibition is for 24 hours out of 168 hours in a week, which amounts to only 15 per cent of the time, it added.
“While regulations for movement of civilian traffic were already in place during convoy movement, the state government has now come out with a planned movement of security forces on the national highway for a short duration -- up to May 31, 2019,” the statement read.
The regulations have been imposed just for a total of 15 days keeping in view the convoy efficiency and security of the personnel, "particularly in the backdrop of Pulwama attack on February 14, 2019 and a similar unsuccessful attempt on March 31, 2019", it stated.
The statement said an impression is being created by some individuals that the national highway has been closed for civilians which is ‘farthest from the truth’. “During this period of 12 hours, alternative routes like old national highway and other internal roads are available for commutation of civilians without any hassles. Restrictions were in place in Jammu and Kashmir earlier also and are imposed from time to time in other parts of the country, for movement of the convoys of security forces,” it said.
The restrictions have been re-imposed, after taking into account the requirements of students, patients, etc. and also ensuring minimum public hindrance, it said, adding a robust mechanism to facilitate the public by the administration for exceptions and emergencies has also been ensured.
He said further, a mechanism has also been put in place to review these restrictions from time to time.
“Certain vested interests are raking up this issue with utter disregard to the precious lives of security personnel that could be lost in Pulwama-like attacks and are sensationalising the issue without any consideration for the national security,” the statement read.
“These planned restrictions, which came into force from April 3, have by and large stabilised and are being properly implemented by the state government without any inconvenience to the public at large,” it added.