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Sentiments of people must not be hurt: Patil on land row
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August 10, 2008 15:53 IST
Last Updated: August 10, 2008 16:41 IST

Asserting that communal harmony will not be allowed to be disturbed, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil [Images] on Sunday said the Amarnath land row will be resolved in a manner that its does not hurt either people of Jammu or Kashmir regions.

"We will have to seek how to deal with the Amarnath land issue. We will definitely make efforts that it is resolved in a manner which does not hurt the sentiments of people of Jammu as well as people of Kashmir," Patil told media persons after chairing a nearly three-hour long all party meeting in Srinagar [Images].

Pics: In Jammu, a tangled tale is written in blood

He said the Amarnath yatra [Images] should go on as before. "Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] has also said that it should continue (as in the past)."

Patil said the all parties at the meet felt that communal harmony should not be disturbed.

"There should be no communalisation of the situation. There have been some incidents but we will tackle these," he added.

He said talks to resolve the Amarnath land row will be held with whoever it is necessary in Jammu as well as Kashmir. The minister urged the media to be sensitive in reporting the events taking place in the state.

Jammu's Hindu uprising

"Media can also make mistakes. We request you to see what is covered is fact and done in a manner that it does not hurt sentiments (of people)."

Patil announced a slew of measures in a bid to please people on either side of the divide created by the Amarnath land controversy in Jammu and Kashmir [Images].

"We will compensate the victims of violence. We will compensate the near and dear ones of those who have been killed," he said, adding those who have suffered grievous injuries will also be compensated.

On the 'economic blockade' of the Valley caused by the ongoing stir in Jammu, Patil said all measures will be taken to ensure that the national highway remains open at all times so that there is smooth supply of goods to and fro Kashmir.

"It was the focus of the talks in Srinagar as well as in Jammu. We talked to the administration and those people (security forces) to whom the national highway has been handed over," he said.

He said it was felt at the meeting that the law and order situation needs to be maintained and the national highway kept open for movements of goods.

Jammu is not for burning

Patil asked the fruit growers not to act upon their threat of taking their produce towards Muzaffarabad (in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir) on Monday.

"Don't go by the other (Srinagar-Muzaffarabad) road. It is not good for us and not good for you as well,"1 he said assuring them that the safety of their goods will be ensured during transit from markets in the valley to other parts of the country.

Unrest continues in Kashmir

Asked how the government will deal with the fruit growers association and Hurriyat Conference who have called for 'Muzaffarabad Chalo' programme on Monday, the minister said, "If such a thing is done, it helps nobody. I hope it is not done and I am sure it will not be done."
Patil, who was scheduled to meet a representative delegation of traders from the Valley, appealed to them also to not go ahead with their programme.
The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry had come to meet Patil, but left in a huff as they were kept waiting for more than an hour at venue as the all parties meeting went beyond the scheduled time.

The Home Minister apologised for the inconvenience caused to the traders but asserted that dialogue was the only way to resolve issues.

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