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Scrap shrine land order: PDP to governor

“The Governor expressed concern over the situation and said if it did not improve, the state would revert to the past,” Deputy Chief Minister Muzaffar Hussain Baigh said.

india Updated: Jun 26, 2008 23:55 IST
Rashid Ahmad

Leaders of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) and the Opposition National Conference (NC) met newly sworn-in Governor NN Vohra on Thursday and suggested he withdraw the Amarnath shrine board’s claim on the controversial forestland transferred to it. The Governor is also chairman of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB).

“The Governor expressed concern over the situation and said if it did not improve, the state would revert to the past,” Deputy Chief Minister Muzaffar Hussain Baigh said. The deputy CM said he had assured Vohra that if the claim was withdrawn, the state government would take the responsibility of providing facilities to pilgrims. Baigh added that Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad also visited Raj Bhavan.

“If the government does not withdraw the order, we will walk out of the government,” Baigh said. The PDP has set June 30 as the deadline for withdrawal.

National Conference president Omar Abdullah also met Vohra the same day. “The government’s position is precarious.

Jammu people don’t want the land to be returned. Kashmir people want it back. If you withdraw the claim on land, it can restore peace,” he reportedly told the Governor. Omar also said his party would not participate in all-party meet called by the chief minister.

Valley on the edge
For the fourth consecutive day on Thursday, the Valley witnessed protests against the controversial allotment of forestland to the SASB. Around 100 people were injured in clashes with the police in separate incidents.