Curfew reimposed in some places after protests against Amarnath agreement
31 August 2008
The Hindustan Times
: Authorities moved in quickly to re-impose curfew in a few places in the Kashmir Valley on Sunday after protests erupted against the state government's decision to give the Amarnath temple trust exclusive rights over a controversial piece of land during the two-month pilgrimage period. In the Mahrajgunj area of the city, curfew was re-imposed within hours of it being lifted after protests broke out. One person was injured as security forces clashed with the protesters during the curfew relaxation period. 'Curfew relaxation was withdrawn and re-imposed in the area immediately as violent protests erupted,' a police official told IANS in Srinagar. In south Kashmir's Kulgam district, protesters came out on the streets and burnt effigies of Governor NN Vohra after news about the agreement between the four-member government panel and the Shri Amarnath Sangarsh Samiti spread like wildfire in the morning. Day curfew had been completely lifted in the south Kashmir districts of Kulgam and Shopian following improvement in the situation. It has been reimposed in Kulgam. According to the agreement, the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) would get rights over the 40 hectares of forest land in Baltal during the pilgrimage period. In north Kashmir Ganderbal district, authorities too were forced to immediately re-impose curfew following protests. Reports of protests have also come in from the north Kashmir Sopore town where people started pelting stones on security personnel during the curfew relaxation period. A four-member panel nominated by Governor NN Vohra reached an agreement in the early hours Sunday with the negotiating team of the Shri Amarnath Sangarsh Samiti in winter capital Jammu to end the row over the land issue which has paralyzed life in Jammu for more than two months. As per the agreement, the SASB would be allowed to use the 40 hectares of forest land in the north Kashmir Baltal area 'which would be set aside exclusively for use by the SASB without any change in proprietorship-title of the land which would continue to remain with the state forest department.' The agreement is being celebrated by the leaders of the Sangarsh samiti who are projecting it as a 'victory for the people of the Jammu region'.