Jammu shutdown extended till July 6
Rejecting Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad's appeal, protesters Thursday evening decided to extend the Jammu shutdown till July 6 to press their demand for restoration of land allotment to the Amarnath shrine management.
"We will continue our protest shutdown till July 6," said Leela Karan, chairman of the Amarnath Yatra Sangharsh Samiti.
He said the Congress government had "ditched" the people of Jammu and "humiliated Hindus" by revoking the May 26 cabinet order, which had granted 40 hectares of forest land in north Kashmir to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) for setting up pilgrim facilities.
Various groups supporting the shutdown call and demanding restoration of land to the shrine board, rejected the chief minister's appeal for peace.
Azad earlier told a hurriedly convened press conference that the government decision was not "succumbing to pressure from terrorists or separatists".
He said the government would acquire as much land as needed to provide facilities to the pilgrims visiting the cave shrine of Amarnath.
Describing it as a "win-win situation", he said this was a reason for celebrations for one and all, but regretted that politics of inciting communal passions was on to gain political mileage.
However, Shiv Sena leader Shamsher Singh said: "All this is eyewash. We reject this. He should restore the land to the shrine board, the rest is misleading propaganda."