Amidst curfew, 85 passengers travel through Karvan-e-Aman

Travelers terrified as Uri sans civilian movement

By Reyaz Ahmed, NAK,

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Kaman post (Uri) : Amidst sullen and ghostly silence of curfew in Kashmir, it was petrifying journey for Hussain 30 and Mudhya 25- the two youngsters of Atiwala Muzzafarabad- who traveled though Srinagar –Muzzafarabad bus on Thursday to visit their relatives in Baramulla Kashmir.

With deserted roads, massive presence of troopers, many barricades and check-points, fear-provoking silence and hymn of army vehicles accompanied them from Uri to Baramulla.

“It was our life long dream to visit our relatives in Kashmir after decades, and we are the third generation after the divide, now we are united,” said Hussain a tight smile of triumph flickered briefly across his face.

While talking to News Agency of Kashmir, Mudhya, young girl accompanying his nephew said, “It is quiet terrifying journey from Uri as no civilian is on roads, what to enjoy. There was a lot on my mind all this while as I saw so much of tension and anger here.

As the black Scorpio draped in decoration stopped at Sheeri main market on Srinagar- Muzzafarabad road, people gathering round it saying guest from Muzzafarabad are in it.

“Our long standing dream changed into reality today but it was shocking to see roads and market garrisoned and few people visible here,” said Mudhya.

The bus service which runs fortnightly was resumed last Thursday to clear passengers stranded after scheduled service was suspended on August 14. It was second travel of the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus since temporarily suspension in the wake of massive public uprising in Kashmir.

Official sources said out of 85 passengers, 27 passengers including 21 returnees traveled to Muzzafarabad through Karvan-e-Aman while as 58 passengers arrived here including 29 returnees to the Valley.

Scores of Army vehicles were escorting the buses and 58 persons from Muzaffarabad visited this side of Kashmir which included 29 fresh and 29 returning home.

There was a massive presence of troopers around Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road particularly in Uri today. This was second time after April 7, 2005 inauguration of the bus service that the deployment of troopers around the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road was increased for ensuring smooth movement of the bus.

After the Karvan-e-Aman was thrown open today, security was tightened around the Muzaffarabad road and security vehicles escorted buses amid fears of attacks by people.

The State government had suspended the bus service for an indefinite period.

At Tchal Uri, where six persons were killed on August 11, the area was completely besieged by police and troopers for safe passage of the bus and red flags were erected on road to keep people away.

A top police official in north Kashmir told NAK that this is for the second time that there has been such a massive deployment of troops for the bus. “We were on tenterhooks throughout the day,” he said.