Muslims appeal for peace in Kashmir valley

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Rajouri (Jammu and Kashmir), August 17 : Muslims with their mouth covered with white cloth took to streets spreading message of peace in Rajouri town of Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday amid ongoing unrest in the State over the controversial transfer of land to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB).

In Jammu, a Hindu-dominated region in Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir, people have been protesting against revocation of the order transferring about 100 acres (40 hectares) of land to SASB.

Muslims holding placards and raising slogans of peace marched in various parts in the border town of Rajouri.

"The message of this procession is that if you want to carry a procession then it should be peaceful, with love and quite. Curfew is only imposed if there are disturbances and noises. It is only imposed when there are clashes between the two groups, police and civilians. Our fight is with no one but we have come with a message of peace," said Haji Abdul Rashid Butt, a resident.

Meanwhile leader of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), M. Venkaiah Naidu while addressing a news conference in Bangalore on today said that transfer of land to the shrine board is the only solution to stop the ongoing unrest in the State.

"The land has to be given to Amarnath Shrine board, it was a decision of the People's Democratic Party (PDP)-Congress government. The land is not to be given for any housing, it is not going to be given for any other luxury. It is being given as per the law, and it is being given for the logistical support to the lakhs of pilgrims, who are going from various parts of the country. Because of lack of amenities given this year 68 pilgrims lost their lives," said Naidu.

The land dispute has polarised Kashmir valley, split between the Muslim-majority Kashmir valley and the Hindu-dominated Jammu, hurting trade between the two areas.

The dispute began after the Jammu and Kashmir government ordered the transfer of forestland to the Trust that runs Amarnath shrine visited by Hindu pilgrims. But Muslims in Kashmir were enraged.

The government then backed down on its decision. Many Hindus, in turn, were angered.

ANI

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