A gloom seems to have engulfed the town of Uri in north Kashmir. With the death of 18 soldiers and many others injured, the town has become anxious. After an uneasy calm prevailed on Sunday, a bus with only eight passengers on board went past the Army base on Monday. It was headed towards Muzaffarabad, across the Line of Control from where the suspects are suspected to have sneaked in.
While a dull silence enveloped Uri, the Karvan-e-Aman or Peace Bus from Srinagar to Muzzaffarabad was the one civilian vehicle allowed on Monday to ply through the brigade headquarters to the Kaman Post and beyond.
Around 10 am, the bus departed from Uri with 8 passengers- three from the Valley and five from Pakistan occupied Kashmir.
Abdul Qayoom Khan, a resident of Boneyar, said one of his relatives was on board the bus. “After the Sunday attack, there was apprehension that the bus will not ply today. But last evening, officials told us that the bus will ply on Monday. We had planned to see them off at Salamabad (the trade facilitation centre at the LoC) but we dropped the idea after the attack,’’ he said.
The bus service started in April 2015, has so far been used by over 3,000 people.
Khan added that the bus was the only CBM (confidence-building measure) that had connected people on both sides of the LoC. “This is the service that connects two parts of Kashmir. We hope that there is increase in the bus service frequency, not the rhetoric. It is for the good of people on both sides of the LoC,” he said.
Uri Station House Officer Ghulam Mohammad told The Indian Express that eight passengers from Uri left for Muzaffarabad on Monday morning while 10 passengers came on the Muzaffarabad bus. “The crossing took place around 2 pm at Kaman. The passengers crossed without any problem and are now headed to their destinations,” he said.