Shutdown begins in Jammu over Amarnath Shrine Boards land issue

June 30th, 2008 - 12:40 pm ICT by ANI  

Jammu, June 30 (ANI): A shutdown called by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is being observed in Jammu today against the politicisation of the issue of allotment of land to the Amarnath Shrine Board.
On Sunday, after withdrawing support to the Congress-led coalition in the state, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) questioned the Jammu and Kashmir government’s decision to transfer forestland to Amarnath Shrine Board.
The government’s decision of transferring 40 acres of forestland to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board has triggered large-scale protests and violence in the state.
Meanwhile, State Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad cited a letter from the State Governor NN Vohra, wherein the later in the capacity of chairman of Shrine board, declared that their demand for land transfer would not be pursued any further considering the firm commitment of the state government of providing all necessary facilities to the pilgrims.
On the other hand, the BJP threatened to intensify its protest in case the decision regarding land allotment to shrine board was repealed.
PDP, a partner of the Congress party-led coalition, has pulled out its support from the ruling coalition over the issue. The move follows intense protests in different parts of the state for about a week, demanding revocation of the government order transferring 39.88 hectares of forestland to the Amarnath Shrine Board.
PDP has 18 MLAs in the 87-member State Assembly while Congress has 21 members. The ruling coalition has the support of eight Independents and two Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) MLAs. (ANI)

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