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Centre rushes Home Secy, Defence Secy to JK
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August 04, 2008 22:55 IST

The Centre on Monday rushed Union Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta and Defence Secretary Vijay Singh [Images] to violence-hit Jammu, which continued to be tense over the Amarnath land row that claimed two more lives today.

During their visit, Gupta and Singh interacted with officials of the Jammu and Kashmir [Images] government and the Army and took on the spot assessment of the volatile situation in the state which is witnessing unrest over the land controversy, sources said.

The decision to send two top officials came after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] called Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil [Images] to his residence late on Sunday night, after his return from Colombo.

Patil also convened a meeting at his residence today during which the government reviewed the situation in the sensitive border state, currently under Governor's rule.

The steps being taken by the local authorities also figured in the meeting that also decided to provide all assistant required by the state government.

The meeting was attended by Gupta, Special Secretary (Internal Security) M L Kumawat besides others.

The Home Minister had spoken to Leader of Opposition L K Advani [Images] and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Arun Jaitley, who was in Jammu, seeking the opposition party's help in bringing peace into the region.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi [Images] too had spoken to BJP president Rajnath Singh seeking support of the opposition to calm down the aggravating situation in Jammu.

Meanwhile, two local television channels taken off air by authorities were today permitted to resume broadcast by the Jammu and Kashmr High Court, which also lifted the ban on SMS messages.

JK Channel and Take-i Channel were asked to stop broadcasting on the ground that their news reports were inciting violence in the curfew-bound areas.

A division bench of justices J P Singh and Sunil Hali stayed an order of Jammu district magistrate and permitted their broadcast till the next hearing on August 8.

The court also lifted a restriction placed by the administration banning SMS services. Its response followed a public interest litigation filed by the Bar Association of Jammu.

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