Indo-Asian News Service
Srinagar, January 25, 2011
As the standoff between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Jammu and Kashmir government heads for a showdown, authorities on Tuesday shut the strategic Jammu-Srinagar highway to scuttle attempts by the party's activists to sneak into the valley. Prohibitory orders were also issued in Ramban, Kishtwar and Doda districts to prevent BJP activists from these adjacent districts to enter the Kashmir Valley.
"The highway shall remain closed today (Tuesday) and tomorrow (Wednesday)," a state traffic department official said, refusing to elaborate further on the decision to close the highway.
Authorities have decided to impose curfew-like restrictions in Srinagar to scuttle both the BJP and the pro-independence Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) marches in city centre Lal Chowk on Republic Day, sources in this summer capital of the state said.
"Profiling of passengers arriving here by air has also been started," sources told IANS.
Senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj told reporters in Madhopur in Punjab that her party would go ahead with the Tiranga Yatra. She said she would enter the state with her party colleague and "thousands of BJP activists today (Tuesday) despite the official high-handedness".