Land row: Jammu remains calms, curfew relaxed

August 10th, 2008 - 3:35 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Shivraj Patil

Jammu, Aug 10 (IANS) The authorities in Jammu and Kashmir lifted curfew in Poonch district and relaxed curfew in other towns as dragging and violent protests over the Amarnath land row abated Sunday. Curfew was clamped on Poonch Friday morning after stray incidents of violence threatened a communal flare up. The relaxation in curfew in Jammu, Samba, Kathua, Bhaderwah and Udhampur towns till noon passed off peacefully although very few shops opened, official sources said.

The more than than five-week violent campaign over 40 hectares of forest land that were marked for the Amarnath shrine board has claimed at least 15 lives. Following protests in the Kashmir Valley, the land allotment was cancelled July 1, now sparking violent reactions in Jammu.

The issue has created an unprecedented communal wedge between the Muslim-dominated Kashmir Valley and Hindu-majority Jammu plains.

Home Minister Shivraj Patil, who is leading an all-party delegation to the state, held talks with various groups in Jammu Saturday in a bid to resolve the dispute.

“We will attempt to work a way out which is acceptable to both the regions of the state and the one which will have no adverse fallout,” Patil told reporters at the end of the talks in Jammu.

The Shri Amarnath Sangharsh Samiti (SASS), a conglomerate of over 30 groups demanding the return of the land to the shrine board, said the talks with the central team were “inconclusive” and vowed to pursue its campaign.

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