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Protests continue in J-K over shrine land allotment row

Tue, 01 Jan 2008 ANI

Mandaal/Kathua/Srinagar, August 6 (ANI): Jammu and Kashmir remained tense as protests continued in different parts of the state over the Shrine land allotment issue.


Hindu protestors of Mandaal village, some 20-kilometers from Jammu defying curfew entered Tawi River to reach Jammu, after being stopped by the army.


Meanwhile the Jammu region's Kathua district observed total shutdown, on a call given by right-wing Hindu organisations.


"If the land is not re-allotted to the Shrine board that the entire country would come in the grip of this problem and no force in the world would be able to solve it," said Divakar Sharma, president of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) of district Kathua.


The authorities arrested the agitators violating laws.


"Today a shutdown call was given by VHP, Shiv Sena and allied parties in Jammu and Kashmir and for only that reason the shutdown is being observed in Kathua since morning. Except for one or two vehicles, the traffic remained suspended in the region. The Shiv Sena and the VHP workers had come and gathered here at Kalibari and tried to disrupt the traffic, and when we asked them to leave, they violated our orders following which we were forced to arrest them under preventive section," said an official.


Hindus in Jammu attacked lorries carrying essential supplies to the Kashmir on Tuesday.


Police said two policemen were killed when several thousand protestors attacked a security post in Jorian area of Jammu. Angry protestors also uprooted nearly a mile of railway tracks.


More than 40 people, including 11 policemen were injured in clashes across the region.


The Jammu and Kashmir government had planned to transfer land to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) for building shelters for pilgrims visiting Amarnath. Faced with huge Muslim protests, it rescinded the order, sparking Hindu demonstrations.


Three people were killed in protests in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday.


Meanwhile Srinagar observed a total shutdown on a call given by Hardline kashmiri leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani against the proposed all-party meeting called by the Prime Minister to discuss the prevailing situation in the state.


"Today this shutdown call was given by Geelani in protest of the events taking place in Jammu. All our supplies are stuck there. The people are facing so much problem here in Srinagar due to that," said Mohammad Ashraf, a resident.


Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has called a meeting of all political parties on Wednesday to discuss the crisis.


Mohammad Yasin Malik, a Kashmiri separatist leader, began a hunger strike on Tuesday to protest attacks on Muslims and the economic blockade of the valley. (ANI)


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