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BJP defends 'peaceful mass movement' in Jammu

R Prema in New Delhi | August 05, 2008 20:26 IST

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday claimed it had little role to play in the ongoing violent agitation in Jammu against the cancellation of land allotment to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board.

BJP leaders have been spearheading a 'peaceful mass movement' and planning a Jail Bharo (court arrests) movement from August 11 to 13 against the state government's 'capitulation before separatist elements.'

                                              Unrest continues in Kashmir

Claiming that the role of political activists in this 'mass movement' was minimal, the BJP asked the government to directly speak to the people leading the movement 'with an open mind' instead of trying to resolve the issue through an all-party meeting, convened by the Prime Minister in New Delhi [Images] on Wednesday.

BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad made it clear at a press conference that the BJP would certainly attend the all-party meeting. But the party maintained that "what is happening in Jammu since the last 35 days is a mass movement by the anguished people of the state in every sense of the word."

Asserting that "the profound sense of grievance being felt by the people of Jammu needs to be addressed with appropriate corrective measures," Prasad declared the BJP's support to the 'peaceful agitation', which has already claimed three lives.

                                              Amarnath land transfer order revoked

He also distributed copies of a 6-page note of the Amarnath Sangharsh Samiti, demanding the governor's recall, allotting forest land to the SASB and granting full autonomy to the board.

Quoting from an interview of former Chief Minister Ghulam [Images] Nabi Azad on Tuesday, Prasad said he had "acknowledged on record that the separatist propaganda is behind the decision to revoke the transfer of land to the shrine board."

Azad had pointed out that false propaganda was unleashed despite the fact that the land was given to the board only for two-three months to erect pre-fabricated temporary structures for sheltering the pilgrims.

                                                         Jammu's Hindu uprising

"This is a nationalist movement of and led by the common people against the meek and unjustified submission of both the government of India and the state government of Jammu and Kashmir [Images] towards patently subversive demands made by the separatist elements, who have always questioned the very premise that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India," Prasad affirmed.

In a separate statement, BJP vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi accused the Congress and the Central government of "demeaning the faith and trust of crores of Indians by escalating the anti-national mentality of handful of separatists."

"On one hand, terrorism is uninterruptedly spreading its devilish hold on the entire country, on the other hand, the Congress-led Central government is nurturing evil designs of the forces who represent and lead separatism," Naqvi added.

                                                      Srinagar erupts in violence

He said except for the BJP chief ministers and ministers, all party leaders will join the demonstrations before the Raj Bhawan in all the state capitals from August 11 to 13, to court arrest and demand the restoration of land to the SASB.

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