Jammu-based political parties demand separate ''statehood

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Jammu, Jul 7 (UNI) Criticising the Kashmir-centric leadership in Jammu and Kashmir, Jammu-based political parties today jointly demanded a separate ''statehood'' for the winter capital.

Addressing a joint press conference here, several pro-Jammu political parties joined hands in a bid to make people of Jammu aware to fight against the Kashmir-centric leadership and to stand for a separate ''statehood''.

''We have decided to continue agitation till the mischevious order of the land transfer, issued under pressure of the communal forces of Kashmir, is withdrawn and the land handed over to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board,'' Mr Chander Mohan Sharma, president Praja Parishad said.

The people of Jammu region should announce war against Kashmir-centric politics, economics and development exploitation for a better tomorrow, Mr Mohan said.

He asserted Jammuites have organised various agitations against discrimination and for the redress of their genuine grievances for the last 60 years, but always commissions were appointed to sabotage the movement.

However, Mr Rajeev Chunni, president SOS international-- an organisation of PoK refugees-- alleged that Jammu-based leaders, legislatures and Ministers, all are representatives of Kashmiri leadership and support 'Kashmiriyat'.

''Jammu leaders surrender before Kashmir politics and it has crippled an overall development of this region,'' Mr Chunni claimed.

Meanwhile, president Jammu Tigers, Kuljeet Singh in his statement said once for all, separate ''statehood is the only alternative to the people of Jammu for their survival.'' ''Jammu is economically healthier than Kashmir. We have better tourism infrastructure but sans development and there are major resources of generating income in different parts of the region, which can be utilised,'' Mr Kuljeet said.

He added, ''We will fight for the separate statehood for better future of Jammu and if possible Article 370 will also be abolished for an overall development of the region.'' The leaders of various regional political parties struggling for statehood for Jammu, meanwhile, said a joint front for the bigger cause and a movement after the ongoing agitation will be launched against the Kashmir-centric leadership.

UNI VBH HS KN1502

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