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All-party delegation arrives in Jammu, Amarnath Samiti won't negotiate

Source: PTI
Last updated on: August 09, 2008 12:15 IST
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The 18-member all-party delegation headed by Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil arrived in Jammu on Saturday to review the situation following recent violent protests, but the Shri Amarnath Sangarsh Samiti, which is leading the agitation over land transfer issue, refused to hold talks with the team members.

The delegation reached around 0930 hours and proceeded to a guest house where the members were scheduled to hold talks with SASS leaders, an official spokesman said in Jammu.

However, the Samiti refused to hold negotiations with delegation members if National Conference patron Farooq Abdullah, People's Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti and Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee chief Saifuddin Soz are part of the team.

Accusing these leaders as responsible for the present turmoil in the state, SASS spokesperson Leela Karan Sharma said, "We have no hesitation in talking to the delegation if these three leaders are kept out of negotiations."

The visit of the all-party delegation to Jammu and Kashmir was decided at a meeting convened by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on August 6.

Meanwhile, the army on Saturday staged flag marches and imposed curfew restrictions in several districts of the Jammu region, which have been rocked with protests over the Amarnath land transfer issue.

The police said the curfew relaxations have been withdrawn as a precautionary measure in Samba, Jammu, Rajouri and Kathua as the all-party delegation headed by Union home minister arrived in Jammu from New Delhi to review the situation.

Army troops staged flag marches in Jammu, Samba, Kathua and Poonch districts early on Saturday.

"There is no report of any untoward incident so far from any curfew-bound area. The situation is peaceful," said a police officer.

In Kathua, curfew was extended for another 72 hours by the district administration. In Jammu and Samba districts, the curfew entered the ninth day on Saturday.

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