Jammu and Kashmir Govt. to take care of Amarnath Yatra: Azad

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Srinagar, June 29 : The Jammu and Kashmir government has taken over the responsibility to ensure a safe and secure Amarnath pilgrimage from the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB).

The responsibility will include providing logistics and security to the pilgrims.

Addressing a news conference at Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad today said "The SASB will work within its ambit and the State government would do its best to facilitate the pilgrimage. The land which we asked from the forest department is no more required. The State government does not need this land to provide facilities."

Azad told media persons that the Governor during the meeting, told him as the state government would provide all the facilities needed for the Amarnath yatra, the Shrine Board did not require the forest land. The Governor is also the chairman of the SASB.

Azad, however, added there is no question of dissolving the Shrine Board.

PDP President Mehbooba Mufti earlier this morning said that when the Government had promised to provide all the facilities to the pilgrims of Amarnath, then why did it give the rights to the Amarnath Shrine Board.

The State Government should revoke the orders of transferring the forest land to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) and then only the protest can be curbed.

On Saturday, the Congress-led Jammu and Kashmir government reduced to minority when its alliance partner PDP opted to withdraw its support following the controversial forest land transfer to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB).

The members of the party had submitted their resignation letters to the Governor.

The PDP has 18 MLAs in the 87-member State Assembly while Congress has 21 members. The ruling coalition has the support of eight independent MLAs and two CPM legislators.

The PDP's withdrawal from the ruling coalition follows intense protests in different parts of the State for about a week, demanding revocation of a government order transferring 39.88 hectares of forest land to the Amarnath Shrine Board.

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