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Amarnath Land Deal
Letter to Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad, Chief Minister, Jammu & Kashmir State

3145 Gilbert Avenue, Roseburg , OR ( USA ) 97470

<i>Subject: Sale of DAV School in Srinagar and Massive destruction of temples in J&K amounts to state sponsored Talibanization of the state: Hindu religious and educational infrastructure must be protected by the state and a Waqf like Hindu Board be formed for their upkeep, development and governance.</i>

Hon'ble Chief Minister Azad,

It is abundantly clear that the unwarranted sale of one of the leading DAV High Schools in Srinagar, against which the teachers and the students had to march in streets to register their protest, did not have the approval of the community who are the real owners of this infrastructure (attachment A). This represents another example of deliberate yet a “tactical failure” by the J&K Govt. in protecting the Hindu community of Kashmir . It also further strengthens the case of the Kashmiri Hindus as a minority community for a change in the political set up to protect their community, culture, educational institutions and religion. The systematic elimination of minorities from the Islamic domain of Kashmir says volumes about the contradictory nature of the Islamic political culture when compared to India 's secular system.

If the Kashmir Govt. is sincere in its commitment to enforcing the proclaimed goals of equal protection of citizens under a system of political secularism, it must without any excuses issue an executive order, similar to the recent one issued by it for protecting religious shrines, to cover the sale of the DAV School in Srinagar as well as other sales of educational institutions (attachment B). All such deals involving the religious and educational institution and their estates after 1989 must be declared null and void and accounts of the trusts engaged in these extra legal transactions under duress must be sealed.

It is hardly difficult to understand that all these criminal activities by the Islamists represent the extension of their foreign inspired “civilizational war” undertaken to remove all traces of the historical Hindu past in the vale of Kashmir . Massive protests by the remaining less than 5,000 Kashmiri Pandits in the valley against criminally altering the socio-cultural complexion of Kashmir has been of no avail. On the contrary these extremely vulnerable non-Muslim Kashmiris have been exposed to serious intimidation and threats by a very powerful “Islamic Land Mafia” that if they do not stop protesting they would face dire consequences like the rest of the exiled Pandit community.

Disregarding the massive fatal attacks and life ending injuries inflicted upon non-Muslims i.e., Hindus and Sikhs during the past two decades, which consumed thousands of lives, the police establishment of the J&K Govt. two weeks ago, based on manufactured yet concealed evidence, shamelessly boasted that since 1989 only 209 Pandits lost their lives at the hands of the militants.

What a bald faced lie in an attempt to cover up and inadvertently aid the Islamic conspiracy against non-Muslims and India by a Govt. maintained with the Indian taxpayers funds. This politically motivated fabrication of a police report utterly failed to acknowledge dozens of massacres that took place in Kashmir - among them the carnages that bloodied the mother earth at Sangrampora, Gool, Wandhama, Talwani, Brariangan, Pethibug, and Nandigam. It did not make even a casual mention of the Pandit lives lost in bomb blasts, cross fires, deliberate violence, arson, harshness imposed by refugee life, heat, lack of resources, sunstrokes, hypertension, cancer, skin & other diseases, snake and scorpion bites, abnormally high heart attacks and heart failures etc.

1) Hindu Institutions being destroyed at an unprecedented Scale:

The process of desecration, loot, vandalizing and destruction of temples has continued in J&K under the anti-Hindu Islamic rule through generations with intent to wipe out all traces of religious and cultural symbols of Hindus. These targets besides the temples included libraries, schools, universities and ashrams. After country became free and Kashmir acceded to the Union of India in 1947 the destruction and desecration of temples under the new Islamic regimes wearing secular turbans received added impetus and acceleration.

Temple lands, cremation grounds and other such entities belonging to Hindus were usurped and utilized for expansion of the Islamic populace. The famous Bhairavnath temple of Chattabal , Srinagar was locked up by the police. The judicial case pending in court concerning this temple was never allowed to be decided. Precious lands around Hari Parbat hill, Durganag temple of Srinagar and lands at several Hindu places of worship in the Valley were slowly and steadily turned into lands under occupation of the Muslim trusts (Maqboozai-Ahali- Islam).

2) The law and order situation in the Valley since 1986 deteriorated progressively and temple desecration became the order of the day. The Islamic fundamentalist conspiracy against Hindus received unqualified support from the Pan Islamic Movement and from across the border. Here are some of the glaring examples that defy and shred into a million pieces the tall claims made by the Muslim leaders of Kashmir about their dedication and adherence to nationalism, multiculturalism, secularism, Kashmiriyat and religious freedom.

In 1967, Shivala temple, Chotta Nazar, Srinagar was desecrated. Again in 1984 Shri Hanuman temple at Hari Singh High Street was damaged and in the same year Arya Samaj temple of Wazir Bagh , Srinagar was burnt down.

3) Temples desecrated and damaged in Kashmir from 1990 to December 1992


There have been reports of further destruction of some 39 temples in Kashmir after December 6, 1992 for which FIR were filed. Please note that FIRs on all destruction cases were not filed with the authorities in view of the complicity of the administration and warnings of retaliation against the complainants by the Islamic terrorists. According to local eye witnesses accounts there were additional 38 temples that were vandalized after December 6, 1992.

These examples represent only a fraction of the systematic mass destruction of thousands of temples in J&K after independence of India when the Islamists assumed the total and unfettered control of the state. These examples are listed in details in our letter of February 21, 2008 (may be seen on website: http://www.bharatja gran.com/ under the heading - “Massive destruction of temples in J&K and Talibanization of the state”).

4) What is difficult to understand is that when the Govt. re-built Cherar-e-Shareef why can’t it re-build Hindu temples destroyed in the wake of ethnic cleansing unleashed by the local and foreign Jihadists? The Indian Parliament adopted a law in 1991 specifically requiring that –“the status of religious places, as on August 15, 1947 shall be retained". Under the present circumstances it is obligatory upon the Govt. as envisaged by the above referred law to maintain the integrity of religious entities as it stood in 1947. The J&K Government while flouting the law of the national legislature very conveniently divorced itself from this commitment. As always, the Indian authorities looked the other way.

Hon'ble Chief Minister, government's indifference towards the temple security and their functioning can only be termed as its support to persecution of Hindus and denial of their freedom of religion: Govt. must realize that the temples and their endowments have been built over the centuries by our forefathers and therefore, it is the community which is their real owner. Therefore, it is the community which must have the final say in the management and utilization of temple resources and management of educational institution.

5) Given the militant exposition and expansionist designs of the majority community - the Hindus as a minority in J&K need & must get special protection: Your government’s recent order making it mandatory to obtain its approval for the sale and purchase of properties held by Hindu shrines and religious places is right on the mark. However, this is only an initial step to correct the situation that has been wronged over many decades. It must be followed by other appropriate administrative measures like formation of a Waqf- like Hindu Board for their protection, preservation, administration and development.

For maintaining the real religious autonomy the Hindu community must retain power to decide the future of its educational and religious institutions and not the antagonistic work force of the biased J&K Govt. Clearly under estimating the possibility of the prevailing anti-Hindu policies coming into play in their dealings, particularly when their personal faith teaches them that Hindus are the infidels and kafirs, will be a grievous mistake.

6) Formation of a Waqf like autonomous Hindu Board for Hindu institutions' governance under the Hindu community’s guidance is essential: Hon'ble Chief Minister, we strongly believe that for social, religious, educational and community affairs and services and temple administration there must be a representative but autonomous Hindu Board with full jurisdiction over temple governance and management. Since the right of freedom to manage religious places is available to the Muslim community which constitutes the majority in your state, where is the justification to deny this right to Hindus?

7) The Govt. must restore community’s vital role in temple and educational institutions management through Hindu Advisory Councils: Such Councils representing the community and its leaders could play an important role in oversight, day to day administration and decision making process of the endowments department and temple Trusts . Additionally these Councils should have full authority for asking the Govt. to take swift measures for stopping desecration and decimation of the Hindu religious and educational infrastructure and for bringing the culprits to book.

8) Chief Minister Azad, we hereby urge you to take prompt action for protecting Hindu educational institutions, temples and Hindu community properties from illegal sales and annul all such sales that took place after 1988 by declaring them as “sales under duress.” This will be in keeping with the norms and practices in all open and democratic societies; and the secular Constitution of India. Restoration of the DAV High School in Srinagar to community management should be a priority, before the School campus is demolished by its new but unlawful owners.

If this double standard and extremely discriminatory policy against Hindus in Kashmir is not reversed, you can be sure that it will eventually transcend the state boundaries and impact adversely the privileges enjoyed by the Muslims as a minority community in India . In that case they will have nobody to blame except their fellow religionists and the Muslim Govt. of Kashmir. It is also relevant to point out that almost all of the budgetary expenditures in the J&K state are gifted by the Indian Govt. with taxes mostly paid by Hindus. Surely these taxpayers do not fund the Kashmir Govt. so it could destroy the age old Hinduism and its infrastructure for realizing the forced talibanization of the state.

Thank you Mr. Chief Minister. We shall be looking forward to your response and prompt action towards resolving this highly explosive but easily solvable situation.


Dr. Jagan Kaul
Krishan Bhatnagar
Hindu Jagran Forum ( USA )

email: krishan.kb@verizon. net
May 11, 2008

Note: This letter will soon be posted on website: http://www.bharatja gran.com/

============ ========= ========= ========= ===

Attachment A

School building sold; students, teachers take to streets

The Tribune, Chandigarh

Friday, May 2, 2008,

Srinagar, May 1 : Traffic on the Srinagar airport road was today affected for an hour after students and teaching staff of DAV High School protested against the sale of school. The students and teaching staff of more than 60-year-old school today took to streets and blocked the main road at Magarmal Bagh.

Raising slogans against the school management, the students and teachers said the sale of the school building and its ground was illegal.

"Give us our school back," they demanded and appealed to authorities to intervene and save their future. They alleged that Kashmiri Pandit management without taking the parents and teaching staff into confidence had reportedly sold the school property. However, one person, who removed the school boards, said they have purchased the entire complex from the management. We have legal documents, including the sale deed, he said.

Hundreds of vehicles remained stranded for an hour as there was no police official. However, the traffic was allowed after a group of police personnel from Shergrahi police station reached the spot and assured the agitators that they would take the matter with the higher authorities. The DAV school was one of the leading schools before the Pandit management migrated from here after the eruption of militancy.

-- UNI

============ ========= ========= ========= ========= =

Attachment B

Valley temple trusts now need Govt OK to sell their property
by Toufiq Rashid( Indian Express- May 01,2008)

SRINAGAR, MAY 1: In order to safeguard the religious institutions and shrines of Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley, the J&K Government has passed an order which makes it mandatory to seek the Government’s approval for the sale and purchase of such property.

The Government is also likely to investigate the deals so far and take action in three months.

The April 16, 2008 order has come following an inquiry report which reveals violations in the process of sale and purchase of land belonging to Pandit religious institutions in the Valley.

In most of the cases, the shrine managers have been found guilty. The properties include shops and land belonging to temple trusts.

“We had ordered an inquiry by the Settlement Commissioner of Jammu and Kashmir in February and found that there have been many cases where land and property of temples and other religious institutions of Kashmiri Pandits were sold by the mahants or temple managers. The order has been issued to safeguard these properties and put some checks and balances in place,” said Masaud Samoon, Secretary, Revenue, Jammu and Kashmir .

The J&K government passed an order stating that Deputy Commissioner of the area will be responsible for shrine properties. No sale deal can be registered without prior approval of the Deputy Commissioner of the concerned area. The order says that no revenue records should be issued to the mahants or managers of the shrine without the permission of the Deputy Commissioner.

The order states that any deal executed by any mahant or manager shall have to be attested by a Tehsildar after getting clearance from the Deputy Commissioner.

The issue was highlighted by a pressure group of Kashmiri Pandits who stayed back in the Valley after 1990. The group, Kashmiri Pandit Sangarsh Samiti, had even filed a case in the Jammu and Kashmir High Court demanding that all deals involving the temple properties after 1990 be cancelled and accounts of the trusts be sealed.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Vested interests want to stop Amarnath Yatra: Advani</b>
Indo-Asian News Service
New Delhi, June 23, 2008
First Published: 21:43 IST(23/6/2008)

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader LK Advani on Monday said that some people, including some in the Jammu and Kashmir government, did not want the pilgrimage to the Hindu shrine of Amarnath to continue and were spreading canards with this aim.

<b>"There are some people in Kashmir who are making all attempts to stop the Amarnath Yatra. Some of these people are in the government,"</b> Advani said. He visited the shrine June 20.

The Amarnath shrine attracts thousands of devotees every year.

<b>"I was told that there was a stampede and nine people had been killed. But when I enquired during my visit, I found that those who had died were people above 60 years and had died due to heart attack,"</b> he said.

Advani said the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government had developed the Vaishno Devi shrine in Jammu and also worked on developing the Amarnath pilgrimage in a similar manner.

"<b>But some people say why should thousands of people visit the shrine? They are saying that this leads to pollution and dirt in the area,"</b> he said.

<b>A section of the state government - led by the Peoples' Democratic Party - has opposed the grant of forestland adjoining the Amarnath shrine to the temple trust. "The BJP will not compromise on this issue," </b>Advani said.
Shroud of Kashmiriyat
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The statements of National Conference leaders, Mr Farooq Abdullah and Mr Omar Abdullah, have brought little solace to the tense situation that prevails in the Valley. Curiously, Mr Omar Abdullah has described the anti-Government demonstrations as an expression of "Kashmiri nationalism".

He has thus drawn a line between Indian nationalism and Kashmir nationalism. In other words providing for Haj complexes in various parts of the country is 'Indian nationalism' and denying Amarnath pilgrims some relief facilities is 'Kashmiri nationalism'.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Incidentally, the ideology of Kashmiriyat, to which the Kashmiri political leadership and intelligentsia have stuck tenaciously for more than two decades, has also revealed its true colours. In April, Ali Shah Geelani, the veteran separatist leader, while speaking at a public rally in Sopor, said it was a fallacy to label Nund rishi as an outstanding rishi or sufi saint of 14th century. He said Sheikh Nooru'd-Din (not Nund Rishi) was a zealous Muslim missionary who contributed enormously to the spread of Islamic culture and faith in the Valley during his time.

Contemporary Kashmiri historians have now joined Mr Geelani's voice. Those who were till the other day brandishing Kashmiriyat as a manifestation of Kashmir's sense of communal harmony and peaceful co-existence, are now rejecting Kashmiriyat as a mischievous attempt by Indians to impose 'cultural hegemony' on Jammu & Kashmir.

The current row over allotment of land to the Sri Amarnath Shrine Board has shown that the majority of Kashmiri leaders believes that secessionist struggle should be carried out by political parties in a manner that is subtle and an erosion of Indian presence in Kashmir should be effected.
Govt of India is asleep at wheel. Prime Minister silence and inaction on this Amaranth fiasco makes wonder if rigor mortis has sent it.
Significance of the Amarnath yatra
By Jagmohan, former Gov of J & K
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The controversy surrounding the Amarnath yatra is unwarranted. It is more a product of pride and prejudice than of any substantial issue. The forest land which had been allotted to the Amarnath shrine board was for a specific purpose — providing basic amenities and temporary shelter to the yatris in pre-fabricated structures. I do not understand how this act could, as alleged in some quarters, change the demographic character of the state or undermine the environment on the yatra routes.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->When some people talk of Kashmir’s relationship with the rest of India only in terms of Article 1 and Article 370 of the Constitution, I am surprised at their ignorance. They don’t know that the relationship goes deeper. It is a relationship that has existed for thousands of years in the mind and soul of the people, a relationship that India’s intellect and emotions, its life and literature, its philosophy and poetry, its common urges and aspirations, have given birth to. It is this relationship which inspired Subramania Bharati to perceive Kashmir as "a crown of Mother India, and Kanyakumari as a lotus at her feet", and also made him sing that "She has 30 crore faces, but her heart is one."<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
DP works hand in glove with terrorists: Ex-governor
By yet another Gov of J & K: Lt Gen (retd) S K Sinha
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Disclosing that he was writing a book throwing light on his eventful tenure, Sinha said that Sayeed played the "most sinister role in reviving communalism in the valley" using the ploy of transfer of 100 acres of land in the valley which was

to be used to provide facility for Amarnath pilgrims.

Two of the PDP ministers in the cabinet -- Qazi Afzal (forest) and Muzzafar Hussain Beigh (law) -- were involved in the decision to direct this forest land at Baltal but Sayeed had used the issue to "promote his agenda", he said.

"He (Sayeed) wanted to take electoral advantage of the developing situation but I think it has rebounded on him. The people have found out the duplicity of his party," he said.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->"<b>The PDP has performed a very anti-national role in Kashmir and the pity is that PDP, for all these years, has been enjoying patronage of Delhi to the extent that Congress High Command has even undermined the position of its own party's Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad</b>," the former Governor said.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> "What was worse, to appease the fundamentalists...they (state) have virtually wound up the Amarnath Shrine Board," he said, adding this move has had very serious reactions in Jammu and elsewhere in the country. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Fundamentalists celebrating revocation of land transfer deal.

Pilgrims deserve better
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->It is distressing and alarming that communal tension is rising over the decision of the Jammu and Kashmir [Images] state government to transfer a little less than 40 hectares of land to the Sri Amarnathji Shrine Board to enable the latter to provide accommodation facilities to the thousands of Hindu pilgrims who visit the Amarnath shrine every summer.  One cannot expect separatist and militant outfits in Jammu and Kashmir to make a sober and mature appraisal of the larger issues at stake.  It is the attitude of mainstream political parties that is most disappointing and worrying.

The specious grounds for the the Peoples Democratic Party's objections are that the implementation of the decision of the state government would change the "eco-cultural character" of the state. <b>What is the nature of this eco-cultural character of Jammu and Kashmir that is so fragile that it cannot survive the transfer of a small tract of land? Does the Kashmir valley have only a "Muslim" character? </b>What happened to the much-touted Kashmiriyat? Or is that a politically correct platitude that has become an inconvenience to be ignored now that most of the Kashmiri Pandits have been hounded out of their homes in the Valley to Jammu, Delhi and elsewhere in India? Kashmiri politicians owe it to the rest of India to clarify their position on this issue.
read more at Rediff site.
Congress government of J&K revoked Governor's order of land transfer for Amarnath Board.

Congress government of Maharashtra defied High Court order and let the dead line pass by without removing the illegal Afzal Khan Dargah construction. (deadline ended June 30)
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>PDP works hand in glove with terrorists: Ex-governor</b>

Lt Gen (retd) S K Sinha, till recently Governor of Jammu and Kashmir [Images], on Thursday  launched a frontal attack on the state's main political parties, especially PDP and its patron Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, accusing him of being "hand in glove" with separatists and fundamentalists.

At the centre of controversy over the land for Amarnath yatra which paralysed the valley in recent days, Sinha denounced PDP as "anti-national".

Sinha, who laid down office eight days ago, minced no words in admitting that his relation with Sayeed, who was the state's Chief Minister between 2002 to 2005, had been "very bad from the very beginning".

Disclosing that he was writing a book throwing light on his eventful tenure, Sinha said that Sayeed played the "most sinister role in reviving communalism in the valley" using the ploy of transfer of 100 acres of land in the valley which was

to be used to provide facility for Amarnath pilgrims.

Two of the PDP ministers in the cabinet -- Qazi Afzal (forest) and Muzzafar Hussain Beigh (law) -- were involved in the decision to direct this forest land at Baltal but Sayeed had used the issue to "promote his agenda", he said.

"He (Sayeed) wanted to take electoral advantage of the developing situation but I think it has rebounded on him. The people have found out the duplicity of his party," he said.

82-year-old Sinha, who earlier had an equally controversial term as Governor in Assam before coming to Jammu and Kashmir, also did not spare the Centre and charged the Congress high command with undermining its own party Chief Minister Ghulam [Images] Nabi Azad.

"The PDP has performed a very anti-national role in Kashmir and the pity is that PDP, for all these years, has been enjoying patronage of Delhi to the extent that Congress High Command has even undermined the position of its own party's Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad," the former Governor said.

Sinha said that he had been informing the Centre about the activities of Sayeed from time to time but the "Centre goes ahead by keeping it with the government for long."

He denied that he had put any pressure on the state government for the transfer of land and said that the proposal was lying with it for last three years.

This was a propoganda that had been circulated by the anti-national and secessionists and as well as PDP.

"On the one hand sanctioning the diversion of forest land at Baltal through its two minister" and on the other they flare up the communal tensions, he said.

"They (PDP) were trying to hunt with the hound and run with the hare. Their duplicity stands exposed and their effigies have been burnt in the streets of Srinagar [Images] by Kashmir mobs," he said.

Sinha regretted the revocation of the order and termed it a "policy of appeasement and total surrender" followed by the state government and done with "total lack of grace".

"What was worse, to appease the fundamentalists...they (state) have virtually wound up the Amarnath Shrine Board," he said, adding this move has had very serious reactions in Jammu and elsewhere in the country.

Unfortunately, secularism seems to be one way street. Yet another sad story of those Kashmiri pandits.
Elderly couple set themselves on fire after losing land
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Hundred acres of land near the Amarnath shrine had entire Jammu and Kashmir state burning last month. And on Thursday, an elderly Kashmiri migrant couple set themselves on fire after losing their 22.5 acres of land, allegedly due to encroachment.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Such instances of land encroachment are not the first for Kashmiri migrants. Recently, the state assembly even passed a bill to prevent encroachment. Organisations have even been demanding that revenue records be digitalised and posted on the web to prevent tampering. But before all that is implemented, two lives have already been lost.

The incident is another reminder of the fact that land still remains an emotional for those who left Kashmir.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>Amarnath land row: Curfew imposed in Jammu after suicide</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Dogra made an emotional speech to the gathering, saying the revocation of the land transfer order to the shrine board had driven him to desperation. He said he was "sacrificing his life for the cause", eyewitnesses told reporters.

Dogra, who had allegedly consumed poison before making the speech, fell unconscious. He was taken to a hospital where the doctors declared him dead, police said.

Soon after, AYSS activists brought Dogra's body to the Parade Ground and refused to let the police conduct a post mortem. Police forcibly took away the body for post mortem but as soon as the procedure was over, the actvists again brought back the body to the ground.

After a tug of war over the body, police took it away to Dogra's native village of Bishnah early Thursday. A curfew was simultaneously imposed in Jammu and surrounding areas of Ranbirsinghpora, Bishnah and Arnia.

"It was an ugly spectacle. The body was being dragged and pulled by several people," said an eyewitness.

Police said a suicide note was found in Dogra's pocket. <b>It said he was upset about National Conference president Omar Abdullah's remarks in parliament Tuesday that Kashmiris would die but never give forest land to the shrine board.</b>

Indian Muslims have no problem or they don't feel haram at all when they take subsidize Haj paid by Hindus tax money.
New row: Cong to limit people at Amarnath cave per day
The party state convention has passed a resolution demanding that the number of pilgrims at the Amarnath cave be restricted to 3,000 people per day.

JK Pradesh Congress Committee President, Saifudin Soz said that they wanted the recommendations of the 12-year-old Nitish Sen Gupta report to be endorsed.

The Sen Gupta Committee was constituted in 1996 after 240 pilgrims were killed in a snow storm. The committee had suggested regulating the number of pilgrims to 10,000 on the entire route, with only 3,000 allowed at the cave on any given day.

The state Congress' demand has angered many who feel the party is against the pilgrims like its former alliance partner, the PDP.

Coordinator Amarnath Sangrash Samiti, Leela Karan said, "They have taken away the land. Saifudin Soz and Mehbooba Mufti have the same agenda."
<b>Jammu Hindus show the way </b>
Hari Om

The most inspiring aspect of the Sri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) land transfer issue is that the Jammu province has witnessed complete communal harmony despite repeated efforts by various quarters to create division between the Hindu and the Muslim communities there. The Muslims have been consistently criticising those opposed to the land transfer and have been extending their whole-hearted support-to Hindu protesters.

So much so, they are holding Press conferences and accusing the Kashmiri leadership for outraging Hindu sentiments in Jammu & Kashmir. The positive attitude of Jammu's Muslim community has simply demoralised fanatics and their fundamentalist 'secular' supporters in the State and elsewhere in the country.

Determined as they were, the people of Jammu province, cutting across party lines, observed bandhs and organised dharnas. It was a massive affair. In the meantime, a frightened and unnerved Government imposed Section 144. Not only this, the biased administration clamped curfew to keep people confined to their homes in order to weaken the demonstrations. Hundreds of people were arrested by the police and several suffered serious injuries.

But despite the Government's terror tactics the struggle continues under the banner of Sri Amarnath Yatra Sangharsh Samiti (SAYSS). The protesters claim that unless their two demands -- expulsion of Governor NN Vohra from the State and restoration of the land to the SASB -- are met, they will continue with their struggle.

The message that comes out from the mass upsurge in Jammu is that the people will now not allow New Delhi and Kashmiri politicians to play with their sentiments; they will not allow them to deprive them of their legitimate share in the State's polity and economy; and they will not allow New Delhi to strike any deal with Kashmiri leaders without taking them into confidence.

The authorities in New Delhi must remember that the people of Jammu are one of the most important factors in determining the State's political future and that it would be a fatal error to treat them shabbily or barter their interests in order to appease Kashmiri fanatics and separatist politicians. It is high time that New Delhi woke up to this reality.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Suicide bid by youth gives new turn to stir </b>
IANS | Jammu
A youth in a border town here attempted suicide to press the State Government to restore allotment of land near the Amarnath shrine to the temple trust. This is the second suicide bid over the issue that has rocked the Jammu & Kashmir since last month.

<b>Kuljeet Singh Choudhary, in his 20s, consumed poison while on a sit-in to protest the revocation of the land allocation order. Choudhary was rushed to a hospital, where his condition was stated to be critical, according to reports. Officials, however, were tight-lipped over the issue.</b>

The Government on May 26 allotted 40 hectares of forest land in north Kashmir to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) for creating "temporary and pre-fabricated" shelters for Hindu pilgrims of Amarnath cave temple in south Kashmir. But the order was revoked July 1 after people in the Muslim-dominated Kashmir Valley took to streets with violent protests, in which six people were killed. They were alleging that the land would be used to settle outsiders and change the Muslim-majority character of the Valley. The revocation orders silenced the Kashmir protests but ignited demonstrations in Jammu region, which has been reeling under curfews, shutdowns and violent protests for the past one month now.
The news of the attempted suicide brought the people onto the Jammu-Pathankote Highway. They threw stones at the police and fought pitched battles with them, sources here said. Earlier July 23, Kuldeep Kumar Dogra allegedly consumed some poisonous substance for, what he wrote in a purported suicide note, "the cause of the land restoration to the (Amarnath) shrine board." He died in hospital later.

<b>Dogra's suicide re-ignited the agitation, which was then ebbing from violent protests and shutdowns to black flag demonstrations, banging of utensils and signature campaigns. Normal life in the winter capital of Jammu & Kashmir remained crippled on Tuesday due to a shutdown for the sixth consecutive day in protest against the land transfer row.</b>
The shutdown is being observed in response to a call by the Amarnath Yatra Sangharsh Samiti (AYSS), a conglomerate of some 30 Hindu groups spearheading the campaign for re-allocation of the land to the SASB.

All shops, business establishments and educational institutions remained closed and traffic was off the roads in response to the shutdown call, which has been extended till Thursday by the AYSS.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->SRINAGAR, July 31: <b>Indian troops defused a bomb on Thursday on a key Kashmir highway used daily by people to reach a cave-shrine high in the Himalayas, officials said.</b>

Discovery of the bomb came after the Indian cities of Bangalore and Ahmedabad were hit by a string of blasts last week that left 50 people dead and scores injured.

“Our men detected a powerful bomb planted on the pilgrimage route,” Prabhakar Tripathi, spokesman for the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force, told AFP. He said the bomb was defused in Manigam, 35km east of occupied Srinagar.—AFP
Here comes Vohra with his request to the PM to increase the haj quota of J&K by 3000 seats.

I think this goes beyond rubbing salt in the wound, or disrespecting Hindu sentiment. This tells me that Hindus don't even figure in even the smallest bit in the political calculations of the govt.


Request to increase haj quota
<b>Amarnath land row: 2 killed in police firing</b> (TOI)

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->JAMMU/NEW DELHI: Protests against the forest land transfer to Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) took an ugly turn on Friday when two protesters were killed and scores of others injured in police firing at Samba and clashes with policemen across Jammu region.

<b>Those killed have been identified as Sunil and Yougal Samyal. </b>

Jammu is boiling for the last one month since protests broke out demanding restoration of the land transfer order. Schools, businesses and other institutions have been closed and curfew was reimposed on Friday as fresh violence erupted following the arrival of National Conference patron and former CM of Jammu and Kashmir Farooq Abdullah and People's Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti in Jammu. Amaranth protesters clashed with cops at various places leaving over 10 people including two policemen injured. They also burned a Panjtirthi police post.

<b>More than 1,000 Hindu activists had laid a siege around Jammu Airport once they came to know that Farooq and Mehbooba had landed from Srinagar. </b>The two remained stranded at the airport for more than two-and-half hours. Finally they were escorted by a massive police team to the Raj Bhavan.

Some activists of the Shri Amarnath Sangharsh Samiti (SASS) parked trucks on the main road leading to the Raj Bhavan to block the passage. They also demonstrated outside the Raj Bhavan at Panjtirthi raising slogans against governor N N Vohra, Mehbooba, Farooq and Omar Abdullah. They burned effigies of NC and PDP leaders and flags during protests across the city.

Agitators also tried to enter Raj Bhavan but were prevented by police. Violent protests also took place at the Parade and Purani Mandi areas where agitated mobs pelted stones besides targeting the police personnel with firecrackers. There were demonstrations and road blocks at various places.

<b>Meanwhile, the Centre has refused to support BJP's demand for the restoration of Jammu and Kashmir government's order allotting land </b>on a temporary basis to Amarnath Shrine Board to build shelters for Shiva devotees who throng the state for a darshan.

Centre's stance was conveyed to BJP leader L K Advani and his colleague Arun Jaitley by PM Manmohan Singh on Thursday evening. <b>"This will lead to complications," Singh is learnt to have told his visitors. </b>The PM had called Advani and Jaitley over to discuss the volatile situation.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Partial victory


SASB to organise yatra; board all set for recast
2 Aug, 2008, 0459 hrs IST, OUR POLITICAL BUREAU
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Bowing to pressure of agitationists, Jammu and Kashmir governor N N Vohra on Friday re-assigned the task of organising the annual Amarnath Yatra to the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, which is likely to be re-constituted soon.

The decision comes against the backdrop of a marked deterioration in the situation in Jammu , where the agitation launched under the aegis of Shri Amarnath Suraksha Samiti for the restoration of 100 acres to SASB shows no sign of dying down.

The outrage among the majority community over the government’s decision to cancel the land-transfer order showed up yet again in Jammu on Friday, where angry SASS protesters forced National Conference patron Farooq Abdullah and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti to remain holed up in the Jammu airport.

They had to be airlifted by a special chopper to the Raj Bhawan, which was subsequently gheraoed by SASS activists. Effigies of the two leaders, as also of NC chief Omar Abdullah , were burnt at several places, making it clear that the agitationists held the two J&K parties the main villain in the piece.
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What about the Hindus in Kashmir valley
Who is going to protect them

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Srinagar, August 2: As Jammu continued to simmer over the Amarnath land row, hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani asked Muslims not to leave the region and lashed out at Hindu outfits for the ‘economic blockade’ of the Kashmir Valley.

"Muslims of Jammu should stay put in their homes and not even think about migration. This time around they will not be left at the mercy of the rioters," the separatist leader said in a statement after a meeting of the advisory council of the hardline faction of the Hurriyat.

Geelani claimed that the protests in Jammu to demand the restoration of land to the Sri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) ‘had a connection with New Delhi’ and called for a general strike on Monday to express solidarity with Muslims of Jammu and the traders who has suffered ‘immense losses’ due to the "economic blockade" of Kashmir Valley.

"People of Jammu, Doda, Rajouri and Poonch are also requested to observe a complete shutdown to send a message to the rioters," he said.

Jammu has been rocked by violent protests since July 1 when the Congress-led state government cancelled its May 26 order of diverting nearly 40 hectares of forest land to the SASB, following massive protests in the Kashmir Valley and withdrawal of support by PDP.

The decision doused protest in the Valley but triggered the current agitation in Jammu.

Geelani accused the administration of complete failure in protecting the lives and assets of Muslims in Jammu region. He said the ‘economic blockade’ of the Valley should be eye opener for the people.

The agitation is being led by Shri Amarnath Sangarsh Samiti (SASS). Protests over Amarnath land row flared up after Kuldip Kumar Dogra, a local Hindu activist, allegedly committed suicide over the issue.

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