Students, teachers protest Amarnath land revocation

August 13th, 2008 - 7:10 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Amarnath Shrine

New Delhi, Aug 13 (IANS) Over 300 students, most of them Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad members, and teachers held a demonstration Wednesday at the Delhi University (DU) to protest the cancellation of land transfer to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB). The agitating students shouted slogans and said the issue should not be given a communal colour.

Aditya Raj Kaul, one of the organisers of the protest march and a member of the Amarnath Action Group (AAG), told IANS: “There have been attempts to communalise the Amarnath land row. Young minds are being brainwashed against other religious communities. The issue is beyond religious boundaries. It’s about human sentiments. It’s an issue of injustice meted out to Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, people of all communities living in Jammu.”

For the last two months, Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed unparalleled strife along communal lines over the allotment of 40 hectares of land in north Kashmir to the Amarnath shrine board, which manages the pilgrimage to the cave shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. The allotment was revoked due to protests in the Muslim-majority Kashmir valley, which incensed people in the Hindu-majority Jammu region.

The protest in the varsity coincided with the nation-wide protest called by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP).

“We have nothing to do with the VHP. We were planning on this protest for weeks now and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) helped us in organising it,” Kaul said.

The student protesters also burned the effigy of the Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil and raised slogans against the Indian government for failing to resolve the issue.

Vikas Dahiya of ABVP said this was just a token protest and if nothing is done soon, then the agitation will intensify.

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