Sri Sri calls for end to violence over Kashmir land row

August 4th, 2008 - 6:24 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Amarnath Shrine

New Delhi, Aug 4 (IANS) Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has appealed for peace in Jammu, where violent protests over the Amarnath land row have taken a communal tone. “The (Jammu and Kashmir) government committed a big mistake by transferring the land to the Sri Amarnath Shrine Board and then revoking the same later in the face of protests,” Ravi Shankar of the Art of Living Foundation said in a press statement issued from Bad Antogast in Germany.

“But recourse to violence is a bigger mistake,” he stressed urging the people to exercise restraint.

Though the people have the freedom to express their opinion and frustration they cannot take recourse to violence, he said.

The crisis in the Jammu and Kashmir began when the erstwhile Congress-led government allotted 40 hectares of forest land to the board of Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir May 26.

The order was later revoked July 1 following violent protests in the Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley. The revocation silenced the protests in the valley but ignited passions in Hindu-dominated Jammu. The region is reeling under the series of shutdowns and curfew amid violence that has claimed many lives.

The spiritual guru called upon the people to adopt non-violent ways of protest and urged them to maintain communal harmony.

Ravi Shankar has had a telephonic conversation with Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohra over the issue, said the statement.

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