Unilateral decision on land use would have dangerous consequences:PD

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Srinagar, Aug 31 (UNI) Describing the agreement between Shri Amarnath Yatra Sangharsh Samiti (SAYSS) and the government on the Amarnath land issue as a '' unilateral decision'', Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti today said it was a move to disrespect the popular sentiments in Kashmir.

The unilateral decision on land use would have dangerous consequences, she said, adding any decision on this sensitive matter should have been taken only with consensus and after consultation with the Kashmir Coordination Committee and civil society here.

Ms Mufti said the Yatra has always been welcomed by Kashmiris through ages and it should have been allowed to continue without giving any rights to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) on the land at Baltal.

''What about the rest of the land being used for Yatra in other places as per the tradition?'' she asked.

Ms Mufti said this was not a Jammu and Kashmir peace formula as is being presented but a Jammu appeasement policy which would only further increase the alienation of Kashmiris where all popular sentiments were being suffocated with brute force.

The PDP president observed that all voices of peaceful dissension have been muzzled, throwing democratic norms to the winds and the government has gone out of its way to provide space to the sword wielding cadres of communal forces who are receiving ideological and material reinforcement from outside the state.

Ms Mufti said that party had cautioned the Centre against any such approach but unfortunately no consensus was reached between the political parties in Kashmir. While in Jammu, she said, the Congress and the BJP closed their ranks to support the agitation.

''Unfortunately in Kashmir, majority of the political parties lived up to their historical role and sided with forces inimical to peace and sentiments of Kashmiris,'' Ms Mufti said and added that revocation of land diversion order was an achievement of the Kashmiris with peaceful means wherein all political parties had sided with them.

She said sabotaging this achievement was an act of malicious intent against Kashmiris.

Taking a strong exception to the indiscriminate arrests made by law-enforcing agencies in rural and urban areas of Kashmir, Ms Mufti termed the gagging of press, indiscriminate arrests of politicians and youth as an emergency type of situation.

She said in a repetition of what was done in the early 90s, the law-enforcing agencies clamped down on the local media, thrashed demonstrators and journalists broke into their houses and intimidated them along with their families.

''It is unfortunate that the government is imposing a collective punishment on Kashmiris by launching a manhunt throughout the valley to nab the youth and has rounded up hundreds of peaceful protestors, many of them being booked under draconian laws,'' she added.

UNI BAS SKB KN1741

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