Suicide attempt fuels protests over Amarnath land row

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{image-Amarnath land row_30072008.jpg}Jammu, Jul 30: One more person attempted suicide in Jammu's Samba District on Tuesday July 29 to pressurize the State Government into restoring the forest land allotted to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB).

Kamaljeet Singh Choudhary, 43, allegedly consumed poison while participating in a sit-in protest. "He came to me and said that I am going to sacrifice my life because the State Government is not returning the land allotted to the SASB," said Suraj Prakash Verma, an eyewitness. On July 23, Kuldip Kumar Dogra, a young man in his late 20s after delivering an emotional speech at a gathering of activists announced that he would sacrifice his life for the noble cause. He fell unconscious and was rushed to a hospital where he was declared brought dead.

The incident triggered off spontaneous protests by the activists of the Amarnath Sangharsh committee and other organizations. The capital had been reeling placed under curfew following violent protests over the revocation of forestland transfer order to the Board. The shutdown comes in the wake of the Amarnath Samiti's demand for the allocation of 40 hectares of forestland to the SASB.

The State Government on July 1 had withdrawn its May 26 order to allocate 40 hectare of land to the shrine board following massive street protests against the order. Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad had to resign over the issue following his Government's failure to win a trust vote in the State Assembly.


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