Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said civilian movement will be restricted on highways and major roads in Jammu and Kashmir when convoys of Army and security forces pass through the area.
His statement came a day after at least 40 CRPF jawans were killed when a suicide bomber drove an explosive-laden vehicle into a bus in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. The Jaish-e-Mohammed militant group claimed responsibility for the attack.
“Civilian traffic movement will be restricted for some time during movement of Army and security forces convoys,” Singh told media after a high-level security review meeting in Srinagar. “This may cause inconvenience and I apologise for this but this is necessary for safety of jawans,” he said, according to PTI.
Singh also blamed “some elements” for acting hand in glove with terror organisations, terror forces and Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence across the border. “They are involved in terror conspiracies too,” ANI quoted Singh as saying. “They are toying with the future of the people, especially the youth, of J&K.”
He said these “elements” take money from Pakistan and ISI. “I have told the officers that the security provided to such people should be reviewed,” he said.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, while responding to Singh’s decision to restrict movement of civilians, suggested use of special chartered trains between Banihal and Baramulla for movement of security forces. “They will be able to move at high speed nonstop [and] they will be much safer than convoys,” Abdullah said. “Also highways will be available for civilian traffic.”
The National Conference leader said he had made the suggestion when he was chief minister, but it was not accepted. He said in the wake of the latest terror attack, the option to use trains could be revisited.