Vohra starts dialogue in Jammu to resolve Amarnath land issue

July 14th, 2008 - 9:58 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Amarnath Shrine

Jammu, July 14 (IANS) Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohra, who assumed office over a fortnight back, Monday paid his maiden visit to Jammu and immediately set about to open a dialogue with the civil society to seek a solution to the crisis arising out of the agitation for restoration of land to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board. “I am here to understand as to how things can be done in a manner that the situation returns to normalcy,” the governor told a team of senior officials, including Director General of Police Kuldip Khoda and Jammu Divisional Commissioner S. Pandey, as he reviewed the situation with them.

One of the officials present at the meeting told IANS that the governor is to seek the views of the people involved in the agitation and those out of it. He has called several delegations to the Raj Bhavan, governor’s house, for a detailed interaction.

In his interviews with media persons, Governor Vohra made it clear that neither had land ever been given to the shrine board nor was it ever returned.

Vohra has been at the receiving end in Jammu region ever since he proposed to the state government to take control of the Amarnath pilgrimage. “This is beyond the capacity of the governor, despite the fact that he is chairman of the shrine board,” said Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Hari Om.

“He had no right to do so, as it was his individual decision,” Hari Om said.

Vohra is perturbed that the Jammu region, which has a history of communal harmony and resisting provocations in the past, is now agitating over an issue which does not exist. He told officials that they should interact with the civil society and let them know the actual facts rather than just dealing with law and order.

Meanwhile, protests were held in Jammu. The activists of Kranti dal, a local unit of fundamentalist Hindus, burnt his effigy, while supporters of the Shri Amarnath Sangarsh Samiti protesters held a black flag demonstration against the governor.

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