Jammu agitators insist on ‘concrete proposal’ for talks (Lead)

August 17th, 2008 - 11:14 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Amarnath Shrine

Jammu, Aug 17 (IANS) The Shri Amarnath Sangharsh Samiti, leading the agitation for restoring land to the Amarnath shrine board, Sunday insisted on “concrete proposals” for talks with Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohra even as it announced plans to intensify protests from Monday. Samiti spokesman Suchet Singh told reporters that the organisation had received the governor’s letter inviting it for talks, but said it was devoid of any “concrete proposal that we had asked for”.

“There is only one issue of ours - the land to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB). There are not many issues, so we wanted to know what is the roadmap. Since it is not there, we have written to the governor to spell out the proposal on which he wants to hold discussions,” he said.

Earlier in the day, the Samiti gave a call for people to court arrests as, it said, both the central and the Jammu and Kashmir governments have failed to pay heed to its demand. On Monday, the Samiti’s male supporters will demonstrate and court arrests, followed by women Tuesday and children Wednesday, Singh told a press conference here.

“Terming the situation in the Kashmir Valley as grim and out of control, the Samiti has lambasted both the state and central governments for maintaining a criminal silence over misdeeds of fanatic and fundamentalist forces who have let loose a reign of terror in the valley and are threatening the non-Kashmir people,” he said.

“Due to the threats of fanatic forces, more than 400 Durbar Move employees, belonging to the minority community, have already fled from the Kashmir Valley to save their lives. Now these forces have been threatening all minorities (non-Muslims) to leave the valley as early as possible,” he said.

Annually, the state government secretariat moves to Srinagar in summer and to Jammu city in winter. The massive operation is officially called the Durbar Move, and involves a large number of people.

The issue of land for the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) has led to violent protests in both Jammu region and the Kashmir Valley for the past nearly two months.

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