Ch Rashid Azam Inqlabi
The population of Rajouri-Poonch is more than nine lakh at present and these twin Districts fall on border of Pakistan. People of the region are well-built, tall, hard-worker and always stood for cause of their nation. Their contribution always remained immense like in every sphere of life such as medical field, engineering field, literature etc. Poonch and Rajouri, popularly known as Peer Panchal region, is mother to many great personalities like poets Chiragh Hassan Hasrat, Krishna Chander, Banda Biragi, Padamshri Mala Bi, Sian Faqar din, Sian Mira and Ch Abdul Ghani of Mendhar. Sian Mira supported Indian army in 1971 and refused to bless Pakistani when some Pakistan Army officers approached him for special Dua (blessing). The people of Rajouri-Poonch always remain loyal to Motherland and defended it by scarifying their life. Aurangzeb of Mendhar sacrificed his life three years ago when he was returning to home for Eid celebrations. Many youth of Rajouri-Poonch are decorated with medals for their outstanding performance in army including Sab Singh of Rajpur Kamila Sena Medal, Lekh Raj of Daber Sena Medal, Mushtaq of Nagrota Rajouri Shaurya Chakar, Fazal Hussain twice decorated by Sena Medal, Mohd Iqbal Vir Chakar, Mohd Fareed Sena Medal, Bader Hussain Shaurya Chakar, Mohd Sadiq Shaurya Chaker. Thousands of youth of this region are working in Army, Para military forces and police department. J&K police is considered as one of the best police of our country having contribution in curbing terrorism in J&K and known for their valour in maintaining law and order in testing circumstances.
Indian Army undoubtedly played an excellent role in Jammu & Kashmir in defending the nation and is known for its professional touch and discipline, protecting human rights of citizens of India. Though few complaints of human right violations create some mistrust among local, when few men of Army act arbitrarily while discharging their assigned task or show highhandedness to law obeying citizen of area. It gives a sense of insecurity to common which is otherwise uncalled for. The recent incidence of manhandling of SHO Rajouri by a Major at Poshana Check Post on Mughal Road on Saturday evening last week is an eye-opener for UT administration in mismanagement of Mughal Road affairs which is National Highway now. If SHO of one of Police Stations of District Rajouri, who was reportedly going to Kashmir to meet his ailing mother is hindered in such a way, beaten and kept in unlawful custody by Army officials at Poshana Check post, then it is quite easy and apt to imagine dealing of these Army officials with commuters and nomads, who move to and fro daily on this road. Even in recent past, many such incidents were highlighted wherein mismanagement in frisking and clearance of vehicles caused undue harassment to road-users, which lead to long jam resulting mental agony to communters.
It is primary duty of the District Magistrate and District Police of Poonch and Shopian to keep good liaison with forces deployed enroute and ensure good management and affairs of the road. This road offers emotional bond to people of Rajouri and Poonch and is considered as lifeline. There is dire need to focus on functioning of the road, as it offers social and economic boost not only to these twin border districts but to rest of country as well. This road is already a seasonal road and during these four to five months’ window period, it needs best mind engineering whether it’s physical maintenance or traffic regulation. Peer Panchal region is an epitome of peace and peace-loving people and no incidence of violence reported in these districts during recent past, as such sense of security must continue to prevail to build trust and safe concern among masses.
Another activity associated with this historic road is economic activity connected with movement of nomads who visit high-pastures during summers for grazing their cattle. The people who migrate to (Summer Dhoke) high altitude of Peer Marg have to use this road for multiple purposes like bringing ration from plains of Rajouri, Surankote or nearest place. If movement of vehicles is hindered in such a way or any other, then this road is rightly to be called as road of miseries rather than road of happiness and convenience. To put forth further associated issues with this road are non-availability of mobile towers enroute. Non-availability of mobile connection on this road add another miseries like on numerous occasions, as vehicle or persons remain trapped unnoticed due to land-sliding or breakdown of vehicles, leaving commuters at the mercy of God. It is the duty of civil administration to provide basic infrastructure to common masses and passengers like roadside amenities including eateries, washrooms etc. Further there is need to establish trauma hospital on either side of this road to meet any eventuality in case of road accidents or any other natural calamities. The people of Rajouri Poonch already suffered a lot from last 70 years as they have to travel earlier to Srinagar via Jammu consuming two days, covering a distance of more than 500 Km to reach Srinagar (summer capital of state), whereas distance by this road between Surankote to Shopian is just 94 kilometer and Srinagar 150 Km, to be covered in nearly three to four hours. As such, it is impressed on UT administration to open Mughal road for all passengers and in hassle-free manner as who so ever adopt this road to reach Srinagar is in emergency in most of times and such hurdles or undue harassment is totally unacceptable to commuters. Partial opening of Mughal road needs to be relooked as it is half-beneficial. This road is a boon for our UT in general and for Rajouri, Poonch in particular and its opening is a good gesture of LG’s administration.
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, who is known for good governance, is requested to intervene in the matter, with a request to direct Army authorities to ensure better management at Check-posts enroute Mughal road, especially at Poshana post. Administration must evolve better mechanism with set Standard Operating Procedure or set Joint Check Post involving Army and Police for providing a sense of relief to commuters. UT administration is further requested to make it fair weather road by constructing much required tunnels on the road, so that people can reap the benefit of economy and health facilities associated with summer capital.
Mughal road & uncalled sufferings
Ch Rashid Azam Inqlabi