Take fair decision on Amarnath row, Advani tells PM

August 14th, 2008 - 10:18 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bharatiya Janata Party

New Delhi, Aug 14 (IANS) Charging the government with not being serious in resolving the crisis over the Amarnath land row, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani Thursday asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to restore the piece of land to the temple trust immediately. “It appears that the government has misread the nationalist mood of the people of Jammu which is also supported by strong public opinion in the country. This is the first time in history that the government has succeeded in even alienating nationalist opinion,” Advani said in a letter to Manmohan Singh.

“The government should, at least at this late hour, recognise the gravity of the situation and speedily take a just and fair decision, rather than adopt a do-nothing policy,” he said in his letter.

He alleged that the government’s “snail-like speed” in resolving the crisis had escalated the tension in Jammu and Kashmir.

He said the problem in Jammu and Kashmir is not Hindu versus Muslim, nor is it even Jammu region versus the Valley. “It is essentially nationalists versus the separatists.”

“The protest of the people of Jammu has been nationalist, they hold the national flag to their heart, even when they protest. They raise slogans in support of our motherland and also the Indian Army.”

Discontent has been simmering in the state for more than a month over transfer of 40 hectares land to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB). The land transfer order was revoked following protests in the valley, triggering anger in the Hindu-dominated Jammu region. More than 20 people have been killed in the violence.

Advani, also Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, said: “The constitutional right to religion of the pilgrims has to be made effective. The myopic attitude of the government and its snail like speed in finding a solution has allowed the situation to escalate.”

“The people of Jammu division have suffered from gross discrimination in matters relating to the governance of the state. The delimitation is deferred, there is discrimination in the matter of public employment, disbursal of funds and development of the region.”

“They are told on each occasion that the Kashmir Valley has a ‘psyche’ and therefore the government is to submit to that ‘psyche’ and if fairness is shown to the people of Jammu, the ‘psyche’ of the valley will be hurt. Recent events have shown that the people in Jammu are now determined to assert themselves in order to claim their fair share in the matter of both governance and development of the region,” Advani said.

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