Tribune News Service
Srinagar, August 9
For those arriving at the Srinagar airport amidst a complete lockdown and disrupted communication links, only chaos and confusion is in the air, with many desperate to get tickets for return travel.
As a couple of youngsters travelling from New Delhi came out of the airport on Friday morning, they could only see desperate people waiting in long queues outside the ticket counters of the airport.
“Those in queues got PNR numbers, hand-written and stamped, on pieces of paper for air travel from Srinagar,” said a youth, after picking up his relatives from the airport. Intending passengers can also be seen waiting in the lawns outside the airport.
The road leading from the airport to the city centre of Lal Chowk, about 12km away, is dotted with para-military personnel, including CRPF and BSF, who assist the J&K Police in enforcing restrictions under Section 144. The road intersections have been blocked by erecting plastic cubes, meant for regulating traffic, and concertina wires, to slow down the thinly moving private vehicles and security or official vehicles. Only one tube is kept open for traffic movement from different sides at such intersections. Even as the blockades are there, the police or CRPF men allow the drivers to move ahead only after brief questioning. The intersections on main roads and links leading to interior localities are seen dotted with security personnel to prevent any law and order situation. Manning a barricade, a security man “regretted the inconvenience” to the commuters and rued that he had not been able to contact his family for the past five days due to the snapped communication links.
The officials here are tight-lipped over the situation while no curfew passes have been issued to newsmen. “We have already informed the authorities for issuance of curfew passes for mediapersons. The higher ups have to take decision in this regard,” said Syed Sehrish Asghar, Director of Information, J&K.
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