J and K to get equal consideration on Amaranth land row: Patil

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Jammu, Aug 9 (UNI) The Amarnath land row will be resolved amicably by considering both the regions of Jammu and Kashmir, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil today assured.

''Efforts are on to resolve the tension considering both the regions of Jammu and Kashmir,'' Mr Patil said, after meeting the Shri Amarnath Yatra Sangarsh Samiti (SAYSS), a conglomerate of several political and non-political outfits spearheading the ongoing agitation, and local leaders of various political parties in the evening.

The Amarnath land row has resulted in regional polarisation of the state, with Jammu region witnessing a vigorous agitation under the banner of the Samiti for the last 40 days and complete shutdown since July 24.

Leading an 18-member delegation, which arrived here today on two-day visit to assess the situation in the state, Mr Patil emphasised on the need to restore normalcy and ensure availability of essential commodities for the people in the state.

He said the delegation had met with about 15 leaders of the state, besides the Samiti, and had collected their viewpoints as well. ''Many points have come up during the discussions with the leaders and they will be forwarded to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for consideration,'' Mr Patil said, asserting that the dialogue will continue to restore peace and harmony in the state.

The Minister announced that Centre had fixed ex-gratia relief of Rs 3.5 lakh each for the family of protesters killed in the police or army firing.

On arrival, senior government officials, including Lt Gen Vinay Sharma, GOC IX Corps, briefed the visiting delegation on the situation in curfew-bound Jammu region, which is witnessing massive protests with people defying curfew despite heavy deployment and barbed wiring on the streets.

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