The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Monday sent a notice to the state government on a petition seeking to quash the restrictions on civilian vehicular movement on the Jammu-Srinagar-Baramulla National Highway. The plea has been filed by former Indian Administrative Services officer Shah Faesal.
The state government has banned civilian traffic moving between Baramulla and Udhampur on National Highway 44 from 4 am to 5 pm on Sundays and Wednesdays till May 31. The move is aimed at facilitating the movement of security vehicles and was taken as a security measure ahead of elections, which will be held from April 11 to May 19.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party has filed a PIL against the highway ban in the High Court which will be heard tomorrow, the party said on Twitter.
The move comes after the February 14 Pulwama attack in the state in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel were killed. The People’s Democratic Party and the National Conference have criticised the ban, enforced by Governor Satya Pal Malik’s regime. According to media reports, locals complained of chaos, confusion and inconvenience on the first day of the ban. The Jammu-Srinagar-Baramulla National Highway is a key road link between the Kashmir Valley and the rest of the country.
Faesal, who had resigned from the IAS this year and launched the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Movement political party, contended in his PIL that the ban violates the fundamental rights of citizens as it could restrict access to education and healthcare, The Print reported.
The division bench has listed the petition for hearing on Tuesday.