'Restrictions' on passenger vehicles irk Balakote residents

The people living in villages ahead of Line of Control fence in Balakote area of Mendhar sub-division are irked over alleged “uninformed restrictions” on passenger vehicles in their area after a cross-LoC drug smuggling racked was busted by the police recently.

Zaheer Khan among other locals said, “On the very next day post after the cross-LoC drugs smuggling racket was busted, the security agencies imposed restrictions on passenger vehicles in an uninformed manner.”

They alleged, “Only some personal cars are being allowed to cross the LoC gates to move into the villages ahead of the fence. All other vehicles, especially passenger vehicles like Tata Sumo, have been barred from plying in the area.”

As most of the people living in villages ahead of LoC fence do not own a vehicle, they said, the restriction is making them suffer.

“The restrictions on movement of passenger vehicles have been imposed on both Basooni and Baryani Gali gates,” they said.

“We have to walk several kilometers to reach our villages in Dhrati, Barooti, Panjani and Swala in the high risk forward zone. It could become disastrous at any point,” they said.

A police officer, wishing anonymity, said that the issue has been taken up with the army and “only those vehicles will be allowed to cross gates which will possess a valid permission”.

On being contacted, Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Mendhar, Sahil Jandyal, said that the issue will be immediately taken up with the army as well as the higher authorities in civil administration, so that the people do not suffer.