The Jammu-Srinagar national highway was opened for a few hours this morning, allowing the movement of stranded vehicles, a traffic police officer said. Over 750 vehicles had left Jammu for Kashmir Valley till 11 AM today, the officer said.
“No vehicle was allowed to move to Srinagar after that,” he said. The highway was closed in view of apprehensions of trouble after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Sabzar Bhat was killed in an encounter with security forces in Tral on Saturday.
The fears were compounded by Kashmir separatists leaders’ call for a march yesterday to Tral in Pulwama, close to the highway, to pay homage to Bhat. Over 2000 vehicles were stranded on the highway from Lakhanpur towards Kashmir during the past two days after parts of the route were closed to traffic as a precautionary measure in view of the rising tension in the valley.
Traffic has also not been allowed on Mughal Road, which passes through Shopian and is an alternative fair-weather roadway connecting Jammu to the valley. It has been closed from Bafliaz towards Srinagar.
Over 100 vehicles, mostly oil tankers and trucks, which reached Jammu overnight, passed through areas where protesters threw stones at passing traffic, an office bearer of All Jammu and Kashmir oil tankers drivers and cleaners association said. Over 30 trucks were damaged in the incidents of stone pelting, the office bearer said.