Faced with criticism of twice a week ban on the movement of civilian traffic on the Jammu-Baramulla Highway, the Jammu and Kashmir governor on Saturday withdrew the restriction on the 75 km stretch between Srinagar and Baramulla.

The state government, headed by Governor Satya Pal Malik, had imposed the ban on the movement of civilian traffic on Sundays and Wednesdays and earmarked the two days exclusively for the movement of convoys of security forces following two terror attacks on CRPF convoys.

An official spokesman said that the ban on the Srinagar-Baramulla stretch of the highway has been withdrawn for Wednesdays and now onwards it will be applicable only on Sundays.

The restrictions would continue between Srinagar and Udhampur as earlier. However, these would be reviewed periodically and relaxation would be made as the need for restriction reduces.

The local administration would continue to facilitate the movement of civilian traffic as has been happening for the last two weeks. Further, the local administration and police would examine the possibility of allowing public transport of JKSRTC to move during the period of restriction even on convoy days, the spokesman said.

The government, in its earlier order, had banned the movement of civilian traffic till 31 May when the election process would conclude, but the spokesman said that a complete review of restrictions on the highway would be done after the last phase of elections on 6 May to examine the need for continuing the ban.

The spokesman said that over 100 Executive Magistrates were deployed to ensure smooth movement of convoys of security forces and also facilitate civilian movement. Divisional Commissioners have made additional arrangements at the local level to facilitate public movement.