BJP demands immediate settlement of Amarnath land row

August 20th, 2008 - 7:33 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 20 (IANS) Asking the government not to “buckle under the pressure of separatists”, the Bharatiya Janata Party Wednesday demanded an immediate negotiated settlement of the nearly two-month-old Amarnath shrine land row.“More the delay, more it will harm the integrity of the country. The government must address the nationalist aspirations and not buckle under the pressure of separatists,” BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said in a press conference here.

“The BJP demands that India must protest strongly with Pakistan about their continued interventions in the internal affairs of India. The Pakistan National Assembly resolution demanding plebiscite is totally unacceptable and condemnable,” Javadekar added.

Jammu region and the Kashmir Valley have been on the boil on the issue of transferring 40 hecatres of government land near Baltal to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) for pilgrim facilities.

The state government’s decision to transfer the land led to widespread protests in the valley and the order was revoked July 1. However, the government’s backtracking led to violent protests in Jammu region - showing a communal divide over the issue.

The BJP spokesperson also condemned a statement by author-activist Arundhati Roy, calling for freedom for Kashmiris.

“The BJP condemns in the strongest possible words and demands strong action against Arundhati Roy as her irresponsible utterances amount to nothing less than sedition,” he said.

“When she says that Kashmir needs azadi (freedom) from India and India needs azadi from Kashmir, our response is that India can live without Arundhati but not without Kashmir,” Javadekar added.

The party has mobilized hundreds of thousand people across the country who will court arrest Thursday to protest against the government’s policy on the Amarnath land row, he said.

”The situation in Jammu and Kashmir is deteriorating because of a complete lack of vision and political will on the part of the Congress-led UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government. Its omissions and commissions without any clear-cut policy direction have led to this current situation and impasse,” Javadekar said.

The spokespersons said the nation needed to take a serious note of incidences, which have taken place in past one week in Jammu and Kashmir.

“There has been a mass exodus of non-Kashmiri labourers from the valley because of the continuous threats from the separatists. But the government instead of acting tough against those issuing such threats is arranging extra buses to carry them out of the valley,” Javadekar said.

“What is worse is that the government itself has sent back more than 1,000 state government employees from Srinagar, who belong to Jammu. The non-Kashmiri engineering and medical students have also been forced out of the valley in hundreds,” he added.

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