Srinagar-Muzaffarabad Trade route reopens after shutdown
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altJehlum Post News Network/Srinagar/Feb 12, 2015 /The cross-Line of Control trade between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad resumed Thursday after remaining suspended for six days over the arrest of a driver from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PaK) following recovery of drugs from his vehicle. "The cross-LoC trade resumed this morning as 15 trucks from this side started their journey towards Chakoti (in Pakistan occupied Kashmir)," Baramulla Deputy Commissioner told PTI. The trade and travel on Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road between the two sides of Kashmir across the LoC was suspended last Friday over the arrest of a PaK driver after 305 packets of brown sugar were recovered from fruit boxes in his truck.Following the impasse, 22 drivers from PaK were stranded at Salamabad Trade Facilitation Centre in Uri on this side while 49 Indian drivers were held up at Chakoti. The deadlock ended yesterday as PoK authorities agreed to resume trade activities. The stranded drivers along with their vehicles on both sides of the LoC returned to their native homes late last night. A senior government official said the officials from PaK gave "positive signals" during yesterday's talks that the cross-LoC trade would resume today. Anayat Hussain, the driver from Muzaffarabad, and local trader Zahoor Ahmad Malla, who was to receive the consignment, continue to remain in police custody.A case under Section 8/21 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act has been registered against the duo and investigations are on. PaK officials have asked their Indian counterparts to expedite the legal process against the driver and keep them informed about the developments. "They also insisted that the evidence in the case should be shared with them on regular basis," the official said.

In January last year, authorities had seized drugs worth nearly 100 crore from a truck coming from PaK, which led to brief suspension of cross-Line of Control trade after police arrested the Pakistani driver of the vehicle. The PaK officials did not allow the Indian trucks and the drivers to return till the accused PaK driver was enlarged on bail by a local court and returned home. In August 2013, police recovered cocaine worth 10 crore from a truck, plying on Srinagar-Muzaffarabad route, at Sheeri in Uri sector. The LoC traders association has demanded that the issue of import of drugs be investigated by the the National Investigation Agency or CBI to eradicate the evil once forever. Agency

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