Two-way Light Motor Vehicle (LMV) traffic was resumed on Thursday on the 270-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway after remaining closed for weekly Wednesday maintenance.
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However, the historic 86-km-long Mughal road, seen as alternative to Srinagar-Jammu national highway remained closed though snow clearance operation has been completed.
”We allowed LMV traffic from both Srinagar and Jammu today”, a traffic police official told UNI. However, he said the Kashmir bound vehicles had to leave Nagrota between 0700 hrs to 1200 hrs and Jekhani, Udhampur, from 0800 hrs to 1300 hrs.
Similarly, Jammu bound vehicles had to leave Zig Qazigund from 0700 hrs to 1200 hrs, he said adding no vehicle will be allowed after cut off timing.
Traffic on the highway, the only all weather road connecting Kashmir valley with the rest of country, was suspended on Wednesday to allow National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to undertake weekly maintenance and repair work.
Spokesman said Heavy Motor Vehicles (HMVs) will continue to ply one-way only. Today HMVs will ply from Jammu to Srinagar and vehicles had to leave Jekheni Udhampur between 1400 hrs to 0200 hrs.
Security forces are advised not to ply against the traffic advisory issued by the traffic department in view of traffic congestion on the highway, he said adding they may ply from Jammu towards Srinagar.
He said Mughal road, connecting Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region remained closed though snow has been cleared.
Meanwhile, Apni Party (AP) vice president Choudhary Zulfikar Ali has urged government to reopen the Mughal year.
He said that the people of Rajouri and Poonch especially patients and students are worst sufferers due to closure of the Mughal road.
People visiting Kashmir have to travel over 500 km to reach valley via Jammu when the distance via Mughal road is just 86 km, he said.
The Mughal road is a very important link between the traders of Kashmir and Rajouri and Poonch, he said and adding that since Poonch and Rajouri districts lack specialized medical facilities, patients prefer to go to Srinagar. However, due to closure of the Mughal road they suffered the most, he alleged. He demanded construction of a tunnel to make it all weather road.
Shopkeeper shot dead by terrorists
On Wednesday evening, a 25-year-old shopkeeper was shot dead by an unknown terrorist at Habba Kadal, Srinagar. As per the sources, the deceased runs a mobile shop. The shopkeeper was identified as Umar Ahmed.
Ahmed was shifted to SMHS Hospital. Ahmed succumbed to his injuries. The hospital officials confirmed that Ahmed was brought dead on arrival. Meanwhile, security forces have cordoned the area off, and a hunt was launched to arrest the attackers. This attack comes a day after a police officer was shot dead by suspected militants in Srinagar’s Nowgam area.
Two Killed, Eight Others Injured In Road Accident
Two persons, one of them an 8-month-old infant and a 90-year-old man, were killed, while eight persons were injured after a cab they were travelling in met with an accident near Jabdi area in Kupwara district of north Kashmir on Thursday.
Oficial sources said that the vehicle bearing registration number JK05B-8799 driven by one Mohammad Yaseen Shah met with the accident at Baghbella Jabdi, resulting into on the spot death of Sadar Ali Shah, 90, son of Fazilali Shah of Bijaldar jabdi and the infant Afan.
Eight persons were injured in the accident and have been hospitalized, officials said.
Suspicious bag found in Srinagar’s Lasjan bypass area
A suspicious bag, which triggered a bomb scare, was found in the Lasjan bypass area in Srinagar on Thursday morning.
According to the bomb disposal squad, the bag was empty.
More details are awaited.
Earlier on Wednesday, a terrorist affiliated with proscribed terror outfit Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) was killed in an encounter with the police in orchards of the Shirmal area of Shopian.
The terrorist identified as Sajad Ahmad Bhat was active since September 2020 and was involved in several terror crime cases, said the police in an official statement. A joint cordon and search operation was launched by Police, 44RR, and 178Bn Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in the Shirmal area.
As per the police, he was given the opportunity to surrender, however, he fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party, which retaliated leading to an encounter. Arms and ammunition including one pistol with magazine, one grenade, and other incriminating materials were recovered from the encounter site.
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