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Rediff.com  » News » No direction from SC about road to Amarnath: JK govt

No direction from SC about road to Amarnath: JK govt

September 04, 2012 15:44 IST

The Jammu and Kashmir government has reiterated that there was no direction from the Supreme Court about the construction of a road to the Himalayan cave shrine of Amarnath.
 
The statement comes in the wake of a controversy generated by some Jammu-based political parties, which claimed that the SC has issued a direction for the construction of the road before the onset of winter.
 
The state government's clarification was made by the state Forest and Environment Minister Mian Altaf Ahmad. Earlier, the state finance minister had made it clear that the apex court had not issued any direction to the state government about constructing a road to the cave shrine.
 
The controversy has evoked a sharp reaction from the Kashmir civil society and separatist leaders, who alleged that the yatra was being "politicised". They have also claimed that the construction of the road to Amarnath would cause an "ecological disaster" in the area.
 
Geelani has called for a strike in the Valley on Tuesday. The strike affected normal life, shutting down shops and businesses in Srinagar and other towns.
 
Authorities have made elaborate security arrangements in Srinagar to maintain law and order.
 
The hard-line separatist leader has demanded the disbanding of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board and handing over the affairs of the annual yatra to the Kashmiri Pandit community.
 
In 2008, the Amarnath land row agitation led to a civil strife in the state; it claimed several lives and disrupted life for weeks together.
 
The agitation was also responsible for the fall of the Congress-Peoples Democratic Party government led by Ghulam Nabi Azad, after the PDP withdrew its support to the coalition government.

Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar