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First round of land row talks 'constructive'

india Updated: Aug 23, 2008 14:18 IST
IANS
Talks begin on Amarnath land row

The first round of talks between the organisation leading an agitation for the past two months on the Amarnath land row and a government panel to resolve the issue concluded on an optimistic note on Saturday with the two sides terming them as "cordial" and "constructive".

The talks between the Shri Amarnath Sangarash Samiti and a panel set up by Governor NN Vohra lasted well over one-and a-half hours during which the two sides exchanged notes and reaffirmed their faith in finding a way out of the crisis through a dialogue process.

"We have exchanged constructive views with each other and will meet again," governor's advisor (Home) Sudhir Singh Bloeria, who led the four-member government committee, told reporters after the meet.

However, no time frame was announced for the next round of talks.

Samiti leaders said the the talks were held in a "cordial atmosphere".

"The dialogue shall succeed," said Samiti spokesperson Tilak Raj Sharma.

The state government had on May 26 transferred a 40-hectare plot of land to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board but withdrew this following protests in the Muslim-dominated Kashmir valley. The revocation on July 1 ignited an agitation in the Hindu majority Jammu region.

The Samiti insists that the land be restored to the shrine board. "Nothing short of it," panel member Suchet Singh had told reporters before the talks started.

The four-member government panel comprises Bloeria, retired high court judge GD Sharma, Jammu University vice chancellor Amitabh Mattoo and Amarnath Shrine Board CEO BB Vyas, who is also the governor's principal secretary.

The other three representatives of the Samiti are Tilak Raj Sharma, Narinder Singh and Pawan Kohli.