Members of Nationalist parties take to streets in J-K over Amarnath trust land row

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Srinagar, July 5 : Activist of various nationalist parties along with members of the Hindu community staged demonstration on Saturday in curfew-hit Jammu over the on-going issue of Amarnath Shrine board issue.

An indefinite curfew was clamped in Jammu since Wednesday, following violent incidents after protests broke out in the region over the government's decision of revoking the controversial transfer of land to Amarnath shrine board.

Members of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), Shiv Sena and Bajrang Dal collectively marched on the roads raising slogans and holding saffron flags.

Meanwhile, Srinagar observed a complete shutdown on Saturday due to a strike called by the separatists against the use of force by police on a protest march of Hurriyat conference on Friday.

Several people including senior Hurriyat leader, Shabir Ahmad Shah and other Hurriyat activists got injured as police stamped out a protest march by separatists on Friday.

The march was called by the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) in memory of the people killed in widespread protests last month against the state government's decision to transfer forestland to the Amarnath shrine.

"The strike has been called against the attack on our freedom fighter Shabir Shah. We agree that whatever happened on Friday was wrong thus we completely support this shutdown. And another freedom fighter Syed Ali Geelani, Hurriyat chairman has been put under house arrest. So all this is not good for us," said Shafiq Ahamad, a resident.

Prominent separatist leaders including Mirwaiz Omer Farooq and Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who had called for Friday's march from historical Jama Masjid to Hazratbal shrine in Srinagar, had been placed under house arrest since Thursday.

Meanwhile, sadhus from across the country under the banner of 'World Hindu Federation' staged demonstration in New Delhi against the Jammu and Kashmir government's decision to revoke its orders on land transfer.

They demanded that the central government should interfere in the matter and take appropriate action to help the Hindu community get their land back.

"Its surprising that when land is allotted for the devotees who are going to Amarnath shrine, separatist oppose the land allotment and come on streets to perform detrimental activities and even open fire. It's really shameful. Such an attitude spread a message in the country that Hindu community should also come on streets to protect their rights," said Surendra Nath Avadhoot, President, Delhi, World Hindu Federation.

"And today we have staged this protest against the government. We want to send this warning to the central government that if it fails to control the situation on time then Hindu community will be left with no option than to take to streets and start nationwide agitation," he added.

The state government this week revoked its orders following controversy to hand over nearly 100 acres (40 hectares) of forestland to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) trust for building temporary shelters for several hundred thousands of Hindu pilgrims who trek every year to the cave shrine deep in the Himalayas.

ANI

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