Samiti, Bloeria Panel talks raise hope for normalcy in J

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Jammu, Aug 24 (UNI) Three rounds of ''positive'' talks between the agitating Shri Amarnath Yatra Sangarsh Samiti (SAYSS) and Bloeria Committee have provided a silver lining to the government in resolving vexed land diversion issue which has brought life in Jammu and Kashmir to a grinding halt.

Inching towards the solution to the Amarnath land row that has virtually resulted into a regional polarisation of the state, the four-member Governor's panel headed by his advisor S S Bloeria yesterday held three meetings with an equal strength of the Samiti representation led by Brig Suchet Singh.

The meetings, which were held in a conducive atmosphere, could not reach the accord due to the difference of opinion on the use of terminology in the ''diversion or use'' of land at Baltal (in South Kashmir) by the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB), a reliable source told UNI.

''The Government's persistence on use of certain terminology remained the main reason for the talks remaining inconclusive,'' the source said.

The SAYSS, however without softening on the agitation front, agreed to meet again for the fourth round of talks at the earliest to bring an end to the two-month-long unrest in the state.

On submitting the Samiti's final demand with clarification to the panel, Brig Singh said, ''Unless and until final decision is taken by the government, our agitation will continue.'' The discussions on the other two demands of the SAYSS, which included withdrawal of criminal cases against the activists during the agitation and payment of compensation to the victims, would continue when the talks were resumed, the sources said.

Brig Singh maintained that the SAYSS was firm on its main demand of land restoration to the SASB to facilitate pilgrims and autonomous status to the board.

Talking to reporters, Mr Bloeria said the outcome of the talks would be forwarded to the state government.

Various political and non-political parties had joined under the banner of the SAYSS to carry on with the agitation against the government's decision of revoking the order for the diversion of forest land to the SASB for construction of temporary prefabricated structures to facilitate the Amarnath pilgrims.

UNI VJ SW BST1422

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