As a goodwill gesture, the central government on Wednesday allowed nearly 40 people who had come from Muzzafarabad, the capital of Pakistan occupied Kashmir, by bus to return home, taking the land route via Wagah border in Punjab without visas.
The people had come to Srinagar by the Karavan-e-Aman bus barely two days before the killer earthquake struck the region claiming thousands of lives.
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Worried about the fate of their kin back home, 27 persons, including women and children from five families, left on Wednesday morning in a special bus for Jammu enroute Wagah border, official sources said, adding that 13 more persons from PoK would join them in Jammu.
The step has been taken in view of indefinite postponement of the Srinagar-Muzzaffarabad bus service due to blockade of the road at many places, they said.
A nine-km road stretch between Jula to Kaman post, the last point on the Indian side, has been blocked by landslides triggered as a result of massive earthquake on October eight.
The gesture comes close on the heels of the statement of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday that humanitarian
considerations should take precedence.
Officials in Srinagar said the Indian passengers, who had gone to Muzaffarabad from Jammu and Kashmir on October six, would also be allowed to come through Wagah border by a special bus.