Kashmiri Pandits hold protests in Delhi

July 3rd, 2008 - 12:37 am ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Amarnath Shrine

New Delhi, July 2 (IANS) Hundreds of Kashmiri Hindus, settled in the national capital, Wednesday took to the streets, slamming police firing on innocent demonstrators during protests in Jammu region over the cancellation of land transfer to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB). The demonstrators alleged the Jammu and Kashmir government was “hand in glove with the separatists”.

About 500 protesters under the banner of “Roots in Kashmir”, a global initiative of the Kashmiri Pandits, along with other organisations like Panun Kashmir and Kashmiri Samiti Delhi, burned tyres and shouted slogans.

They criticised Governor N.N. Vohra, Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader Mufti Mohammed Sayeed for the decision.

The agitators also blocked peak-time traffic for over an hour near Jantar Mantar.

In March, the government had allotted 40 hectares of forest land in Baltal to the SASB that organises the annual pilgrimage to the Himalayan cave shrine at Amarnath dedicated to Lord Shiva.

But Tuesday, the government backtracked and cancelled the allotment order, putting an end to a controversy that saw violent protests in the Muslim-dominated Kashmir Valley last week.

But this in turn angered people in the Hindu-majority Jammu region, where authorities banned processions and assembly of more than four people to avoid further trouble.

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