Protests continue to rock Kashmir Valley over SASB allotment

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Srinagar/Jammu, Jun 27 (UNI) The Amarnath yatra was suspended in a precautionary measure as life continued to remain crippled in the Kashmir Valley for the fifth day today where thousands took to the streets again this morning in protest against the transfer of forest land to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) by the government.

A total of four persons have been killed and 300 others, including 40 security personnel, have been injured in the stir in which people have taken to the streets in large numbers in the Kashmir valley for the first time since 1990.

Official sources in Jammu said,''The devotees were not allowed to proceed from Bhagwati Nagar base camp to the Amarnath cave shrine.'' The yatra has been suspended for the third time from the base camp since it commenced on June 17. On June 20 it was suspended due to bad weather while heavy rush at Nunwan and Baltal base camps in Kashmir forced the suspension of the yatra on June 25.

Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Chairman of the breakaway Hurriyat Conference (HC) still remained under house arrest for the fourth day today, official sources said.

A number of other separatist leaders also remained under house arrest from early this morning.

Concerned over the tense situation, Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said the state government and the SASB will have to resolve the land transfer crisis amicably.

''We have made some headway on the issue,'' Mr Azad said in a message on Srinagar Doordarshan this afternoon. He further appealed to the people to maintain peace and communal harmony, and added that all issues could be resolved peacefully through negotiations.

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