Land row: All-party delegation arrives in Jammu
The delegation is here to review the situation following recent violent protests but SASS, which is leading the agitation over Amarnath land transfer issue, refused to hold talks with the team members.Updated: Aug 09, 2008 12:36 IST
The 18-member all-party delegation headed by Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil arrived in Jammu on Saturday to review the situation following recent violent protests but Shri Amarnath Sangarsh Samiti (SASS), which is leading the agitation over land transfer issue, refused to hold talks with the team members.
The delegation reached around 0930 hours and proceeded to a guest house where the members were scheduled to hold talks with SASS leaders, an official spokesman said in Jammu.
However, the Samiti refused to hold negotiations with delegation members if National Conference (NC) Patron Farooq Abdullah, People's Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti and Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) Chief Saifuddin Soz are part of the team.
Accusing these leaders as responsible for the present turmoil in the state, SASS spokesperson Leela Karan Sharma said, "We have no hesitation in talking to the delegation if these three leaders are kept out of negotiations."
The visit of the all-party delegation to Jammu and Kashmir was decided at a meeting convened by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on August 6.
The delegation, including five Union Ministers, will review the law and order situation in Jammu region with the state authorities.
Later, the peace team is expected to meet leaders of various political parties in a bid to end the current crisis. It is also scheduled to travel to Kashmir valley later today to hold talks with various political parties on the situation.
The members of the team are Arun Jaitley (BJP), Amar Singh (SP), Sitaram Yechury (CPM), D Raja (CPI), Mohsina Kidwai (Congress), Farooq Abdullah (NC), Mehbooba Mufti (PDP), K C Tyagi (JD-U), Naresh Gujral (SAD), Akhthar Hassan (BSP) and R C Paswan (LJP), Saifuddin Soz (Congress), Raghuvansh Prasad Singh (RJD), A Raja (DMK), Prithviraj Chavan and Sriprakash Jaiswal (both Congress).
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) Bhim Singh, who has been hospitalised after a fast-unto-death protest, told PTI over phone that the party will not meet the delegation as it was not invited for the all-party meeting presided over by the Prime Minister on August 6.
Singh asked the Prime Minister and state Governor NN Vohra to amend the Shri Amarnath Board Act (2002) by making it mandatory for all board members to be permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir.