Land set aside 'exclusively' to Shrine Board, bandh called off

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Jammu, Aug 31 (UNI) The 'City of Temples' finally celebrated the day today with the announcement of restoration of land to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board ''exclusively'' during Amarnath Yatra period at Baltal-Domail.

''The state government shall set aside land ''exclusively'' to the Amarnath Shrine Board (compartment no 63) for the annual Yatra purpose while the propertier status shall not undergo any change,'' S S Baeloria, head of the government panel announced at a press conference here this morning around 0500 hrs.

The fourth round of talks, started at 2105 hrs last night and continued till this morning around 0445 hrs, ended on positive note restoring back the smiles on the faces of people of Jammu, who were struggling for the cause for over two months and observing complete shut down for 39 days.

''The land, however, would also be used to raise pre-fabricated structures, toilet facilities, setting up of shops by the shopkeepers (locals/residents), also providing provisions of setting up of medical facilities and facilities for helicopter and arrangements of vehicles,'' Mr Baeloria added.

''Meanwhile it has also been accepted that the Board will be responsible for the Yatra and having state Governor its chairman,'' Leela Karan Sharma, convenor Shri Amarnath Yatra Sangharsh Samiti (SAYSS) asserted.

Mr Sharma further added that land has been ''exclusively'' provided at the disposal of the Shrine Board while no money would be charged during the Yatra period.

''We have suspended the agitation as some of the issues including lifting of Public Safety Act (PSA) on some of the protestors, withdrawal of criminal cases, compensation to the families of those who sacrificed their lives and to the traders, horticulturalists and agriculturalists will be taken into consideration but we have called off Jammu bandh,'' the Samiti convenor maintained.

He however, thanked the people of Jammu and the entire nation for supporting the cause and said, ''this is a start and no discrimination will be tolerated by the people of Jammu in future.'' UNI VBH KK BST0646

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