The vehement campaign of separatist sections against the diversion of forestland to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) has put the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) and opposition National Conference (NC) on the defensive.
After NC patriarch Dr Farooq Abdullah demanded the government order sanctioning land diversion be revoked, PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayed has asked for a cancellation too.
Mufti said the controversy has drawn Kashmir to an unprecedented and dangerous polarisation over a matter of faith and a pilgrimage that has been conducted historically by the Kashmir people and the state government with care.
“The state government should cancel the order,” he said in a statement on Saturday. “I would advise caution to the government, the SASB and all stakeholders in the state’s ecology, environment and cultural identity. We need to have a re-look at the desirability of a separate Board for the yatra.”