Amarnath land row protests in Kashmir end

July 1st, 2008 - 9:00 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Amarnath Shrine

Srinagar, July 1 (IANS) Violent protests in the Valley against the land allotment to Amarnath shrine authorities ended after the Jammu and Kashmir government backtracked, with many in this state’s summer capital celebrating in the streets. Mian Qayoom, the head of the Action Committee against land allotment to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB), asked people to “celebrate the victory and resume normal activities from tomorrow.”

After eight days of protests, the state government issued an order following a cabinet decision and cancelled the allotment of 40 hectares of forest land to SASB. The one-line order issued by the general administration department said the previous order transferring the land to SASB had been cancelled.

Immediately after the announcement by the Action Committee, formed by hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani’s Tehreek-e-Hurriyat party, people came out on the main road in the Koker Bazar area adjacent to city centre Lal Chowk bursting fire-crackers.

Four people were killed and hundreds including protesters and security men were injured across the Valley during the last eight days here.

Shops and markets at many places in the uptown Srinagar city opened as the news of the decision by the Action Committee spread in the city in the afternoon. Traffic also started slowly trickling back on the city roads in many areas.

In the protests earlier in the day, one person identified as Ghulam Hassan Sheikh, 65, was killed when a teargas shell fired by police to disperse an unruly mob in central Badgam district hit him on the head.

Twenty protesters were also wounded in Badgam incident. Some security men are also among the injured.

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