Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil who had been looking for a mutually acceptable formula for the people of both Jammu and Kashmir appears to have hit upon one. The Central government, sources said, is reverting to the May 2005 high court directions authorising the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board to build temporary facilities for pilgrims during the yatra at Baltal while simultaneously cancelling the May 26 and July 1 orders that diverted 100 acres and subsequently revoked the same.
This is apparently the most suitable mechanism to defuse crisis arising out of the Amarnath land row that has kept the state on boil since June 21.
The formula is a simple direction of the state high court on May 17, 2005, which says: “The land to be allotted by the Board would be only for the purposes of user and would remain limited for the duration of yatra. The Board shall also identify the sites to be allotted for the purpose of langar, erection of detachable/prefabricated huts and toilets, etc, that would not be permanent in nature and are liable to be removed after the period of yatra is over.”
Patil will discuss the matter with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh before it is made public. He will also try to get the consent of the Kashmiri leadership as well as the Shri Amarnath Sangarsh Samiti, leading the Jammu agitation for restoration of the land.
However, the samiti has said “no” to this formula. “Nothing short of the land back to the shrine board,” said samiti convenor Leela Karan Sharma.