Hours after the government issued a notification barring civilian traffic on the Jammu and Kashmir national highway two days a week, PDP chief and former state chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday slammed the step calling it a 'diktat of martial law'.
The national highway from Baramulla to Udhampur has been put out of bounds for the civilian traffics on Sundays and Wednesdays till May 31 to facilitate unhindered movement of security forces' convoys to eliminate the possibility of fidayeen terror attacks during the ongoing poll process.
Taking to Twitter, Mufti took a jibe at democracy, adding that after bringing Kashmir to the brink, the administration is adamant on collective punishment for the people.
"Last I checked, we were a democracy. But this sounds like a diktat of Martial Law. After bringing Kashmir to the brink, the administration is adamant on ensuring collective punishment for Kashmiris," tweeted Mufti.
The ban on civilian traffic would be effective from Baramulla to Udhampur through Srinagar, Qazigund, Jawahar-Tunnel, Banihal and Ramban, a notification said. The ban would be in force on the two days from 4 am to 5 pm, it added.
In case of any emergency requiring passage of a civilian vehicle, the police and administrative officials would take appropriate decisions in line with the provisions of movement of civilian traffic during curfews, the notification said.
During his visit to Kashmir after the February 14 Pulwama terror attack targeting a CRPF convoy which had left 40 security personnel dead, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had announced that no civilian traffic would be allowed during the movement of the paramilitary forces.
On March 30 too, in a suspected terror attack, a car had burst into flames after hitting a paramilitary forces' truck, with the driver of the car having gone untraceable. No casualties or damage to the security personnel's vehicle were reported.
The restriction on civilian traffic on the highway was announced two days after state police chief Dilbag Singh on Monday said a study group has been set up to suggest steps to strengthen the security along the 270-km Jammu-Srinagar highway following the Pulwama terror attack.