BJP president to visit Jammu amid land row protests

July 4th, 2008 - 9:58 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bharatiya Janata Party

Jammu, July 4 (IANS) Even as protests against the cancellation of land allotment to the Amarnath shrine board continued to rock Jammu for the fifth day Friday, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said its president Rajnath Singh would visit the region Saturday. Singh will be accompanied by BJP general secretary Arun Jaitley, said state party president Ashok Khajuria.

The BJP leaders would “instruct the cadres about their next strategy to get the land restored to the shrine board”, Khajuria said.

Demonstrations were, meanwhile, held across Jammu, as protesters defied curfew and flag marches by the army. People were seen carrying the national flag, chanting “Vande Mataram” and raising slogans hailing Lord Shiva.

Protests turned violent in some parts as highways were blocked and mobs fought pitched battles with the police.

Several towns of Jammu region, including Kathua, Samba, Bhaderwah and Ranbirsinhghpora are under curfew.

Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad Friday once again appealed to the people and urged political groups to restore normalcy in the region.

The Jammu and Kashmir government Tuesday formally cancelled the land allotment to the Amarnath shrine board that manages the pilgrimage to the high altitude cave shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. The decision polarised not just the state with violence in Hindu majority Jammu, but led to a ripple effect in other parts of the country as well.

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