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Lawyers, BJP want J&K Governor removed

Lawyers have staged a sit-in outside the J&K HC against Governor NN Vohra over the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board land allocation issue.
IANS | By HT Correspondent, Jammu
UPDATED ON JUL 10, 2008 06:56 PM IST

Lawyers on Thursday staged a sit-in outside the Jammu and Kashmir High Court in Jammu against Governor NN Vohra over the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board land allocation issue, and the state Bharatiya Janata Party demanded his removal.

"Vohra go back", demanded Jammu Bar Association members who staged the sit-in outside the high court in Jammu on Thursday, saying that either he be recalled or he should get the land order restored in favour of the Amarnath shrine board.

The order to allot 40 hectares of land to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board, which manages the pilgrimage to the cave shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva, was revoked July 1 and since then Jammu has been witnessing protests, shutdowns and sit-ins.

Former bureaucrat Narendra Nath Vohra was June 25 appointed Jammu and Kashmir governor, succeeding Lt Gen (retd) SK Sinha. Barely four days later following violent protests, Vohra as ex-officio chief of the board wrote to the state government offering to return the land, provided the government undertook the responsibility to build facilities for the pilgrims.

Jammu Bar Association president Baldev Singh Salathia said that the governor's act was "unconstitutional and illegal" since as chairman of the board he has no powers to relinquish what has been transferred to the shrine board.

BJP state unit president Ashok Khajuria at a joint press conference on Thursday afternoon alleged Vohra was an "agent of the Congress". He displayed his "anti-Hindu and anti-Jammu feelings" by returning the land to the state government, Khajuria said.

"He must go. The central government should send another Governor," said Khajuria. "Vohra is not acceptable to us," he added.

The protesters in Jammu region, apart from burning effigies of political leaders of the Congress, PDP and National Conference, have set ablaze effigies of the new Governor as well.

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