It’s ‘nationalists vs separatists’ in Jammu and Kashmir: Advani

August 26th, 2008 - 10:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Raipur, Aug 26 (IANS) Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) senior leader L.K. Advani Tuesday openly supported Shri Amarnath Sangarsh Samiti and said the protests in Jammu and Kashmir were of “nationalists versus separatists”.Addressing a party rally in this Chhattisgarh capital, Advani said: “(Separatist) Hurriyat leaders and Peoples Democratic Party (Kashmir’s mainstream political outfit) are staging protests in the valley holding Pakistani flags, while the Shri Amarnath Sangharsh Samiti (Jammu demonstrators) with Indian tri-colour.”

Jammu and Kashmir is currently simmering with unprecedented communal violence in the wake of the Amarnath land row. The government first awarded 40 hectares of forest land to the management board of Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas. The order was revoked following violent protests in the Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley. The cancellation triggered counter-agitation in the Hindu-dominated Jammu region.

With conflicting claims over the piece of land, Kashmiri Muslims and Hindus in Jammu are pitted against one another, even threatening division of the state on religious lines. At least 45 people have been killed, mostly in police and paramilitary firing, in the state.

The BJP leader said the protests in Jammu region and the Kashmir Valley were of the “nationalists versus separatists” nature.

Advani, who reached here by a special aircraft from Delhi, addressed a gathering at Raipur’s Sapre School ground. Assembly polls in the state are due in November.

Taking a dig at the central government, Advani said: “Rising prices during the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government have taken the grip on nation, with common people the worst sufferers.”

The opposition leader lauded the role of the BJP government in Chhattisgarh for “bringing in revolution in development”.

He also addressed the state government’s panchayat department ceremony related to a poverty alleviation scheme.

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