Vohra Appoints Four-member Panel To Resolve Amarnath Row

6 August 2008

Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra last night appointed a four-member committee for holding talks with the Shri Amarnath Sangarsh Samiti (SASS) to find a solution for the ongoing Amarnath land transfer row. The committee comprising former state chief secretary SS Bloeria, Vice-Chancellor of Jammu University Amitabh Mattoo, retired Judge of Jammu and Kashmir High Court Justice GD Sharma, and Chief Executive Officer of Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) BB Vyas will make a fresh appeal to the agitating group to end the stalemate. Earlier, the Sangarsh Samiti had refused the proposal of Vohra to hold direct talks with the shrine board. Commenting on the fresh offer, convener of SASS Leela Karan Sharma said that it would ascertain what the new committee would be offering to address the sentiments of the people in Jammu region. Claiming that the Samiti was not against the dialogue process, Leela said that they would meet and discuss fresh offer and the future course of action. The announcement came after an all-party meeting convened by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh ended in New Delhi. Briefing the media about the meeting, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil appealed to the people of Jammu and Kashmir and all political parties to help in restoring peace in the state. He said that there is no issue that cannot be solved through dialogue. External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said the UPA leaders were briefed on the latest situation in Jammu and related developments by Patil and erstwhile state chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad. Mukherjee added that the all parties also favoured more facilities to the Amarnath pilgrims like shelter, security and transportation.