Jammu shutdown extended till Aug 31

August 24th, 2008 - 8:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Jammu, Aug 24 (IANS) The 31-day-long Jammu shutdown to mount pressure on the state government for restoration of 40 hectares of land to a temple trust, was Sunday extended till Aug 31.”Our protests will continue as the government is yet to come out with any order accepting our demand despite three rounds of talks with our representatives yesterday,” Leela Karan Sharma, conevener of the Shri Amarnath Sangarash Samiti, told mediapersons Sunday evening.

The Samiti, a conglomerate of over 30 political, social and religious groups leading the agitation for the past nearly two months, had earlier given call for shutdown till Monday evening.

Its representatives Saturday held three rounds of talks with a four-member panel appointed by Govenror N.N. Vohra.

The governor’s advisor S.S. Bloeria, who headed the government team, said a “broad understanding” on the possible compromise formula was reached after the third round late Saturday.

However, Bloeria said any announcement of the final outcome would need approval from authorities.

Sharma said the government was moving forward as it was under pressure from the Hurriyat Conference that has been leading protests in the Kashmir Valley against any land transfer to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB).

Samiti also gave a call for complete halt to traffic in Jammu Monday.

Meanwhile, curfew in Jammu was lifted for 24 hours since 5 a.m. Sunday for the Janmasthami festival marking the birth of Lord Krishna.

Several religious processions were taken out in Jammu to mark the festival.

However, in the border town of Poonch there was no relaxation of curfew imposed Saturday after communal clashes. More than 70 shops were burnt in the clashes, a police official said.

Jammu Divisional Commissioner S. Pandey and Inspector General of Police K. Rajendra visited Poonch, 240 km north of here, to make an on-the-spot assessment of the situation.

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