NH ban: HC seeks govt response over not allowing exempted people to travel

Tribune News Service

Srinagar, April 19

The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Friday sought response from the government over the accusations that orders related to the exemption of certain people from restrictions were not implemented on the ground by the Army and the CRPF while imposing the bi-weekly highway ban.

A division bench, headed by Justice Ali Mohammed Magrey, was hearing a bunch of public interest litigations (PILs) seeking the withdrawal of the two-day ban order along the 270 km Baramulla-Srinagar-Udhampur highway imposed by the government.

While the government counsel told the court that everything on ground was alright during the bi-weekly ban, the petitioners submitted before the bench that even ambulances were not allowed on the highway during the ban.

“A cancer patient died as an ambulance was not allowed to ply by the CRPF,” they submitted. “Even an SDM was thrashed.”

The government lawyer said the thrashing of the Sub-Divisonal Magistrate did not take place along the highway. He said the public interest litigations had been filed by political parties for gaining mileage.

The court later sought response of the respondents on the directions issued by the Divisional Commissioner about the implementation of the highway ban. In those orders by the Divisional Commissioner, certain people were exempted from the restrictions. The matter is listed again for Wednesday.

The respondents were also asked to file the compliance of the para 13 of the previous order which states that the commuters who are common people may not face any difficulty in their movement for earning their livelihood.

The biweekly closure of the national highway, according to the government, is aimed at facilitating the movement of security forces for the Lok Sabha election duty and it came into force from April 7. It will remain effective till May 31. The ban order had evoked strong resentment among many people.

‘Even ambulances not allowed to move’ 

  • While the government counsel told the court that everything on the ground was alright during the bi-weekly ban, the petitioners submitted before the bench that even ambulances were not allowed on the highway during the ban
  • “A cancer patient died as an ambulance was not allowed to ply by the CRPF. Even an SDM was thrashed,” they said
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