Amarnath Shrine Board withdraws request for forest land

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Srinagar, Jun 29 (UNI) Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad today announced that the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board has withdrawn its request for forest land to make arrangements for the two-month-long pilgrimage.

Mr Azad told newspersons that state Governor N N Vohra, who is also SASB chairman, had conveyed this information to him in a letter.

However, Mr Vohra had asked the government to make all the necessary arrangments for ensuring a smooth pilgrimage.

The SASB board had not been dissolved as being alleged by some people in Jammu, the Chief Minister said, adding the government would provide only facilities to yatris and not interfere in religious matters.

Mr Azad said he had earlier received a letter from Mr Vohra asking if it was possible for the government to make all arrangements for the pilgrims during the yatra period.

In his reply, the Chief Minister had said the government would be more than pleased to provide all facilities to the yatris.

Mr Azad said he had then received a fresh letter from Mr Vohra in which he had stated that the SASB did not need any forest land as was requested earlier.

''We withdraw the request made earlier for diversion of forest land to the SASB for making arrangments for the yatris,'' Mr Vohra was quoted by Mr Azad as saying after being satisfied by the government's reply.

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