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Valley standoff: Amarnath body demands army deployment; calls bandh

July 02, 2010 15:41 IST

Demanding deployment of army in Kashmir to bring back normalcy, Shri Amarnath Yatra Sangrash Samiti, which had spearheaded the land agitation in Jammu last year, on Friday gave a call for a Jammu bandh on Saturday to protest the alleged attempts to disrupt the pilgrimage.

"SAYSS demands that army should be deployed in Kashmir Valley to control the situation, which has gone out of hands of the state government," Samiti convenor Brig Sucheet Singh said.

The state government has "totally failed" to deal with the current situation, which is going from bad to worse, he said, adding that the Centre is "watching the show".

"We feel that there is a plan to disrupt Amarnath Yatra by separatists supported by a section of mainstream political parties in the Valley," he claimed.

"SAYSS has called for a Jammu bandh on Saturday to protest against attacks on a temple in south Kashmir, demoralisation of security forces and attempts to scuttle Amarnath Yatra in Kashmir," Singh said.

He said if any mishap occurs with any Amarnath pilgrim, there would be "serious consequences" in Jammu.

The bandh call has been supported by Brahmin Sabha, Rajput Sabha, Harijan Sabha, Jaat Sabha, trade organisations, Chamber of Commerce and Industries and various associations of students besides political parties like the Bharatiya Janata Party, he said.

SAYSS, a 34-organisation conglomerate, had spearheaded the agitation in Jammu during the nearly two-month long Amarnath land row in 2008.

The row was triggered after the state government had agreed to transfer 99 acres of forest land to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board to set up temporary shelters for pilgrims. The decision caused a controversy, with protests in the Kashmir Valley against it and demonstrations in Jammu region supporting it.

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