Srinagar, Nov 20 (UNI) Encouraged by peaceful first phase polling in Jammu and Kashmir, 31 residents of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) entered the Kashmir valley today through Aman Setu bridge in Uri to meet their relatives after more than six decades.
Apprehending trouble during seven-phase elections, only 16 PoK residents had arrived here while 73 left from here in two buses on October 6 and 13 to avoid being caught in trouble.
Official sources said nine residents of Kashmir valley entered PoK to meet their relatives, separated during partition.
Twentyfour PoK residents also left in the Karvan-e-Aman bus after meeting their relatives here.
They said a batch of 31 PoK residents entered the valley through Aman Setu, the last Indian post on the Line of Control (LoC) in Uri sector. Ten residents of this part also returned here after staying in PoK with their relatives.
Sources said number of fresh arrivals from PoK was about double than the number of people arrived here in last two buses.
Only four and 12 fresh residents of PoK arrived here on November 6 and 13 respectively to avoid being caught in the trouble during elections.
This time the number was about double after the first phase of polling in ten Assembly segments in the state went off peacefully.
The fortnightly cross-LoC bus service between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad was started on April 7, 2005 when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh flagged off the first bus in presence of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and the then Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.
However, it was made weekly after the trade links were restored between the divided parts on October 21.
UNI BAS KK PK KP1642