Start dialogue, restore normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir: CPI-M

August 21st, 2008 - 12:08 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 20 (IANS) Expressing concern over the situation in Jammu and Kashmir over the Amarnath land row, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Wednesday said the government should start the process of dialogue to restore peace and normalcy in the state.”CPI-M expresses its deep concern at the ongoing grave situation in the state of Jammu and Kashmir,” a party statement issued here said.

“In the interests of the country, it is imperative that the central government take immediate initiatives to restore peace and normalcy in the state through a process of dialogue that needs to be started with both sides, first separately and then jointly, to work out an acceptable solution,” it said.

Jammu region and the Kashmir Valley have been on the boil on the issue of transferring 40 hectares of government land near Baltal to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) for pilgrim facilities.

The state government’s decision to transfer the land led to widespread protests in the valley and the order was revoked July 1. However, the government’s backtracking led to violent protests in Jammu region - showing a communal divide over the issue.

The CPI-M politburo said that while talks proceed, both sides must suspend all calls for agitation and protest.

“The central government must ensure that the traffic on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway continues to operate smoothly. No disruption or blockade can be permitted. The possibilities of opening up trade routes between Srinagar-Muzaffarabad, Jammu-Sialkot and Poonch-Rawalkote must be immediately pursued,” it said.

The party also asked the government to immediately provide compensation to the families of those killed, the injured and those who suffered losses due to the ‘economic blockade’.

“The dispute over the land allocated for the facilities to be provided to the Amarnath yatris should be amicably settled through dialogue,” it added.

Appealing to people to exercise “utmost restraint”, the politburo said they should not fall prey to the provocation of communal forces in Jammu and the extremist forces in the valley.

“The BJP’s decision to make this into an all-India issue is bound to generate further tensions and is aimed at sharpening communal polarization for their petty political/electoral interests,” it said.

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