The Srinagar-Jammu National Highway was closed for traffic today in view of the separatists’ call for a march to Tral to pay tributes to Hizbul Mujahideen commander Sabzar Bhat and his colleague, who were killed in an encounter with security forces recently. The chairmen of both factions of Hurriyat Conference, Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and JKLF chief Yasin Malik – had asked people to reach Tral in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district in large numbers today to pay tributes to the slain militants. “The Srinagar-Jammu National Highway has been closed and no movement of any sort of traffic on either side is being allowed,” an official of the traffic department said here.
He said the decision to close the nearly 300-km highway – the only all-weather road connecting the Valley with the rest of the country – was taken in view of the prevailing situation as the roadway passes through south Kashmir. Mughal Road, also in south Kashmir, which passes through Shopian and is an alternate fair-weather roadway connecting Jammu with the Valley, has also been closed for traffic from Bafliaz towards Srinagar, the official said. He said Srinagar-bound vehicles on Kargil-Sonamarg road were also being restricted due to the prevailing circumstances.