Army takes control of NH, vehicular movement resumes

Ishfaq Gowher
Following the month long unrest in Kashmir Valley and subsequently disruption of vehicular movement on National Highway, the government today reportedly decided to handover NH1 to Army.
According to sources, a huge contingent of Army has been deployed along the 306 km to ensure smooth plying of vehicles and cut off movement of people from rural to urban areas for joining protests.
While there was no official word over the move, sources said today the CRPF, which assists the local police for maintaining law and order and fighting insurgency, has been pulled out from the road opening work and army has been asked to do Highway Domination and Corridor Protection (HIDCOP) that was done by the para military force.
The army which has ‘Victor’ force in South Kashmir and ‘Kilo’ force in North Kashmir for counter militancy operations has also been asked to ensure that people from rural areas did not move towards the urban centres to join the protests, the sources said.
During the current unrest, people living alongside the highway used to reportedly gather at the National Highway, linking the Valley with the rest of country and disturb the vehicular movement. The army, according to the sources, has now been asked to prevent movement of people towards the road.
The Valley has been on the boil since July 8 after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani. Widespread protests have so far left 55 people dead and hundred others injured.
The CRPF, which has been deployed in heavy numbers for maintaining law and order, had informed the state authorities that it is difficult for it to ensure road opening along the Highway.

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