VHP to protest Muslim call to take back land for Amarnath board

June 20th, 2008 - 8:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Jammu, June 20 (IANS) The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) Friday said its firebrand leader Praveen Togadia will be here Sunday to protest calls by Muslim groups to take back land given to the Amarnath Hindu shrine authorities. VHP Jammu and Kashmir unit chief Rama Kant Dubey said the Muslim groups, including what he described as mainstream political parties, had launched “a malicious campaign” against the Amarnath pilgrimage.

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP), a member of the ruling coalition, the National Conference and separatist groups want the government to take back nearly 40 hectares of land transferred to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board. The Board manages the annual pilgrimage to the Hindu cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir.

The land was transferred to SASB to build temporary facilities for pilgrims. But the critics allege that the shrine board would use them to raise permanent structures to settle non-Kashmiris, changing the Muslim-majority character of the Kashmir Valley.

Dubey alleged that Jammu and Kashmir’s Muslim leaders wanted to “stop the pilgrimage once and for all”. He added that they wanted to “Islamise Kashmir”.

He said Togadia, the international general secretary of VHP, would arrive in Jammu Sunday. He would also deliver lectures on the “real designs” of Kashmir’s political and “Islamic fundamentalist forces”.

Dubey demanded that the Jammu and Kashmir government should be dismissed and governor’s rule imposed and action taken against all “anti-national leaders working against Hindu interests and the Amarnath pilgrimage”.

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