Fresh protests on Amarnath land issue to begin Sunday

July 12th, 2008 - 5:01 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Amarnath Shrine

Jammu, July 12 (IANS) The Amarnath Yatra Sangarsh Samiti (AYSS) Saturday announced a fresh round of protests from Sunday to demand the restoration of 40 hectares of land to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB). The land had been allotted to the board but was taken back following violent protests in the Kashmir valley. Samiti convenor Leela Karan said at a press conference here that Sunday would be observed as a “black day”.

“Black flags will be on rooftops of all houses and people will sport black badges. This is part of the next phase of agitation that we launched for the restoration of the land to the shrine board,” Karan added.

On July 15, Jammu will observe a road blockade as the part of the protest.

The AYSS had been sharply criticised by the Jammu Bar Association, the Peoples Revolutionary Movement and a section of the Shiv Sena for suspending the shutdown call for a week last Tuesday.

AYSS, a conglomerate of over two dozen groups, was agitating for the removal of Governor N.N. Vohra and seeking the return of the land to SASB. The land was taken over by the state government July 1 after being allotted May 26.

The land transfer order was revoked after a massive agitation in the Kashmir valley against the state cabinet’s decision.

This had also led the ruling alliance partner People’s Democratic Party withdrawing support to the government of chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, who resigned July 7. The state is now under governor’s role.

Jammu reacted sharply to the government’s decision to revoke the land transfer order, observing shutdown for 11 days. Two people lost their lives and scores were wounded in clashes with the police.

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