Saturday, June 28, 2008

காஷ்மீர் அமர்நாத் கோவில் யாத்ரீகளுக்கு வசதி தர நிலம் கொடுக்க முஸ்லீம்கள் எதிர்ப்பு

வருடாவருடம் கோடிக்கணக்கில் ஹஜ் யாத்திரைக்காக இந்துக்களின் வரிப்பணத்தை திருடும் முஸ்லீம்கள், அமர்நாத் யாத்திரைக்காக வரும் பக்தர்களுக்கு வசதிகள் செய்துதருவதற்காககாஷ்மீர் அரசு நிலம் ஒதுக்கியதை எதிர்த்து தினந்தோறும் ஆர்ப்பாட்டம் நடத்துகின்றனர்.

இதனை முன்னிட்டு, பிடிபி என்னும் அரசியல்கட்சி காங்கிரஸ் அரசுக்கு தன் ஆதரவை விலக்கிக்கொண்டுவிட்டது.

South Asia News
Violent protests over land for shrine in Indian Kashmir
Jun 28, 2008, 10:47 GMT

Srinagar, Kashmir - Hundreds of people clashed with the police in India-administered Kashmir as protests against a land transfer for a Hindu shrine entered the sixth day on Saturday, officials and news reports said.

Shops, businesses and educational institutions were closed as public transport remained off roads in the state capital Srinagar and other towns across the Muslim-majority state.

Local police said thousands took to the streets in Srinagar and other areas for the biggest protests in the region since a widespread agitation in 1989 supporting a separatist insurgency.

Separatist activists shouting slogans like 'Stop the sale of Kashmir' and 'We want freedom' hoisted green Islamic flags atop the clock-tower at Lal Chowk in the heart of Srinagar.

Three Kashmiris died and nearly 300 people have been injured in the unrest that erupted Monday to oppose the transfer of 40 hectares of forest land to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board.

The body organizes the pilgrimage to Amarnath cave, considered one of the holiest shrines in the Hindu faith.

Several areas in Srinagar witnessed pitched battles between the police and stone-pelting groups.

Police said it had to baton-charge and fire tear-gas shells to disperse the mobs and an estimated 20 people were injured in the protests.

The NDTV network reported that four demonstrators sustained gun- shot wounds after mobs attacked police stations in the city forcing police to open fire.

Protests also intensified in areas in the Budgam, Pulwama, Anantnag, Baramulla and Bandipore districts against the state government's controversial move.

Meanwhile, the ruling Congress government held a cabinet meeting to consider revoking the decision to allot the land to the shrine board and end the large-scale violence.

The state government has so far maintained that the land was transferred for construction of facilities for the pilgrims, including prefabricated huts and toilets.

But leaders from the separatist Hurriyat conference party said the decision was part of a conspiracy to settle non-Muslims in the region with the aim of altering the demographic character of the state.

Kashmir, a picturesque region, has witnessed much bloodshed since a separatist revolt peaked in the late 1980s.

According to government data, more than 40,000 people - civilians, militants and security forces - have been killed in Indian- administered Kashmir since the 1990s.

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