Even after revocation of highway ban, passengers continue to suffer


Aantnag, At a time when government has started “Back to Village” program to bring governance at the doorsteps of villagers, the same villagers have been suffering immensely due to massive security presence in every nook and cranny.

“We are back to 90’s and facing immense hardships. It used to take hardly 20 minutes on highway to travel from Qazigund to Anantnag here in South Kashmir but now it takes over 2 hours. We are being stopped at multiple points. The troopers stop us and in the name of frisking and identity keep us standing for 10 to 15 minutes everywhere,” said a group of passengers to news agency CNS.

A lady patient Shugufta said that she along with other passengers were stopped and questioned at Levdara, Badhragund, Bonigam and YK pora while travelling from Qazigund to Anantnag. “Sometimes passengers are only asked to alight from the vehicle and wait for 10 to 15 minutes on the roadside without any frisking or questioning. This is sheer harassment,” she said.

The passengers said they are facing hardships and a great inconvenience. “We feel it is a sheer harassment. Sometimes we are being stopped for hours. The troopers ask us to halt, even if any army convoy is out of sight. The patients, students, employees, businessmen, everyone is suffering here,” they said adding that the villages where troopers stop the passengers are peaceful.

They said on the one hand officers and officials visit their villages under ‘Back to Village’ program assure them of easing out their sufferings but on the other hand they are being harassed in the name of security. “Why to make passengers wait for a long time. They can leave them after frisking,” the locals said. (CNS)