Amarnath protests reach Delhi, Kashmir governor’s recall demanded

August 6th, 2008 - 5:43 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Amarnath Shrine

New Delhi, Aug 6 (IANS) Around 300 Kashmiri Hindus Wednesday carried out a protest rally here demanding resignation of Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohara and transfer of land to a temple trust. The protesters gathered at Jantar Mantar in the heart of the capital and marched towards Parliament House but were stopped by the police near the Parliament Street police station.

They carried banners, placards and chanted slogans against Governor Vohra. A minor clash ensued between them and the police when the protesters tried to remove the barriers put up to stop them. But no one was injured.

“We are firm on our demands. We want Vohra to resign immediately and land should be allotted to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board,” said Aditya Raj Kaul, one of the protesters.

The protest was organised by the Amarnath Yatra Sangarsh Samiti along with various other Kashmiri Hindu groups like Roots In Kashmir, Panun Kashmir, and Jammu Kashmir Vichar Manch.

Jammu and Kashmir has been reeling under widespread unrest after the state government allotted 40 hectares of forest land in north Kashmir to the Amarnath Shrine Board May 26 for creating “temporary and pre-fabricated” shelters for Hindu pilgrims to the Amarnath cave shrine.

The order was revoked July 1 following violent protests in the Muslim-dominated Kashmir Valley.

The protesters alleged that the land would be used to settle outsiders and change the Muslim-majority character of the valley.

The revocation order silenced the protests in Kashmir but ignited demonstrations in the Hindu-majority Jammu region, which has been reeling under curfews, shutdowns and violent protests for more than a month now.

The violence over the land issue in the state has claimed at least 14 lives so far.

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