56 passengers of Karvan-e-Aman bus cross sides in Kashmir

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Srinagar, Jan 31 (UNI) As many as 56 passengers of Karvan-e-Aman bus crossed sides at Kaman, the last Indian military post on the Line of Control (LoC) in Uri sector in north Kashmir today, official sources said.

The number of Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (POK) residents visiting Kashmir this time was less, reportedly due to the persisting cold wave here.

They said 32 passengers from here boarded the bus at an undisclosed location this morning for Kaman post under tight security arrangements.

Of these, 14 passengers were returning to their homes in PoK after meeting their relatives here for the first time since the partition.

They said 18 persons were travelling to PoK for the first time to meet their relatives across the border since their separation 60 years ago.

The passengers deboarded the bus on this side of the border and crossed the Kaman post bridge on foot to reach the other side. They were later taken to Muzaffarabad, the capital of PoK in buses belonging to the PoK-administration.

Similarly, 24 passengers arrived here after crossing the bridge on foot from the other side of the LoC, sources said.

The returnee passengers, including 24 citizen of this side, crossed over to the other side for meeting their relatives there.

According to sources, only five fresh citizens of PoK arrived here this time to meet their relatives here.

The trans-border bus service, suspended in 1947, was resumed on April 7, 2005 after the first bus was flagged off by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh alongwith UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and then Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.

The bus service played successfully despite threat by a number of militant outfits. However, it was suspended for about a month when the Kaman post bridge and road on other side was damaged in the devastating October 8, 2005 earthquake, which claimed one lakh lives on either side of the border.

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