Maintain communal harmony: Shivraj Patil

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Srinagar, Aug 10: Appealing for maintaining communal harmony Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil said fruit growers of the Kashmir valley would be compensated for the losses they have suffered during the Amarnath land row.

Talking to reporters after meeting representatives of various political parties and leaders of different walks of life here, Mr Patil said 99 percent people in Jammu and the Valley are in favour of peace. He said all efforts would be made to restore peace in the state. However, he said the all party central delegation will submit its report to the Centre about the Kashmir situation.

He said the delegation members had a detailed meeting in Jammu and Srinagar. However, due to very short visit the delegation members could not meet some organisations.

He said some political parties ''made good suggestions during our discussion here.'' He said, ''We will not allow any regional or religion divide as people are in favour of communal harmony.'' Mr Patil said,'' We also discussed the overall law and order situation particularly with regard to keeping the national highway open from both sides.''

Mr Patil said, ''We want to make sure that fruit trucks move from Srinagar and similarly the trucks with essential commodities reach the Kashmir valley without any difficulty.'' He said there is no blockade as was being alleged. On Saturday, Aug 9, 70 to 100 trucks carrying fruit left Srinagar for different mandies while 60 to 70 left on Sunday, Aug 10 from here.

He said every effort would be made that fruit growers should not suffer any losses. ''We will provide them compensation.'' Meanwhile, he said, ''We have directed that fruit should be purchased for CRPF and school children so that fruit growers do not suffer any damage.'' He said the compensation for the fruit growers for the damage they suffered would be worked out by the government of India.

However, Mr Patil asked the fruit growers not to go through other route which is wrong.

''We hope fruit growers would not try to take the other route'', Mr Patil referred to the threat by fruit growers that they will take the fruit trucks through Jehlum Valley Road to Muzaffarabad.

The Union Home Minister, however, said that there were complaints of less medicine in the valley.

''We have allowed the dealers to take the medicine from Delhi.'' About the Amarnath yatra, Mr Patil said the pilgrimage is going on smoothly.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has also said that Yatra should go on without any hindrance.

About the land row, he said this would be resolved amicably.

''We will be looking into it as it will have otherwise adverse effect.'' Mr Patil said,'' We will come out with a resolution soon.'' He said,''We would have to maintain the communal harmony otherwise we all will suffer.'' About the killing during the agitation, he said both Centre and state governments would pay compensation.

UNI

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