Kashmir government cancels controversial land allotment order

July 1st, 2008 - 5:35 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Amarnath Shrine

Srinagar, July 1 (IANS) The government Tuesday rescinded the forest land allotment order to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB), against which violent protests had broken out in the Muslim-dominated Kashmir Valley during last week. Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad summoned a cabinet meeting attended by senior ministers of the Congress-led government.

After three hours of marathon discussions, the cabinet cancelled the controversial forest land allotment to the SASB.

The cabinet also decided to hand over the disputed forest land to the state tourism department, which would make arrangements for the facilities of the pilgrims to the Hindu cave shrine in south Kashmir.

With the decision, the government finally addressed the demands of the separatists and many mainstream political parties all of whom were demanding the revocation of the controversial order in black and white.

But the move has angered Hindu groups in Jammu, who have been holding violent protests in the winter capital against the cancellation order.

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