Sixty three days long agitation and 40 days consecutive bandh, has finally led to the victory of the people of the Jammu region with the government and Shri Amarnath Yatra Sangharsh Samiti (SAYSS), during which majority areas of Jammu region not only put up a united face but converted the strike into a mass movement which spread even in rural and remote areas creating a history. Striking an agreement at 4.40 am on Sunday, August 31 morning after nearly nine hours marathon meeting during fourth round of talks. Soon after the agreement was signed between the two sides, the Samiti leaders hugged each other and loudly chanted ?Bum Bum Bhole?.
While majority of demands of the Sangharsh Samiti have been conceded, the core issue of restoration of 800 kanals of land to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) was addressed with the Government agreeing to set aside 800 kanals of land at Baltal for exclusive use of the SASB.
Celebrations broke out in majority parts of Jammu region with the onset of dawn as despite imposition of curfew by the administration in six districts of Jammu region to prevent the ?Sangharsh Rally? by Shri Amarnath Yatra Sangharsh Samiti (SAYSS)which was scheduled to be held on August 31. But as soon as the news of return of 800 kanals of land at Baltal and Domail to the SASB was received the rally was named as ?Vijay Rally?. Despite imposition of curfew by the administration in ?Vijay Rally? people in huge number including women, children and elderly citizens openly defied curfew, burst crackers, danced to the tunes of bands, dhols and drum beats, exchanged greetings and sweets as several Mohalla organisations opened up ?langars? for poor.
It was a combination of Diwali, Holi and Baisakhi in majority parts of Jammu region with jubilant people firing crackers, exchanging ?gulal? (colors) and dancing profusely to celebrate their victory, which came after a hard fought battle of 63 days of agitation including a total of 48 days of bandh. A consecutive bandh was observed for 40 days which ended on August 31 while nine days of bandh was observed at start of the strike on June 30. To make it a perfect Diwali, people lit candles while at several houses and shops, the people had arranged lighting during the night hours. Throughout the day, people continued to burst crackers. At some places, people also fired shots in air from their licensed weapons.
Saints who came from different parts of country participated in a victory rally which was held at backyard of Circuit House.
Besides the saints the convenor of Bajrang Dal Sh Parkash Sharma, Advocate who had reached the Jammu early in the morning to participate in the Vijay rally. But after the Government imposed curfew and banned the rally at MA Stadium, a victory rally was organised in the backyard of Circuit House in which a large number of people took part.
The saints who addresed the rally included Ram Janam Bhoomi Niyas chief, Sant Nitya Gopal Dass Ji Maharaj, Sant Hans Raj Ji Maharaj of Haridwar, Sant Chinmiyanand Ji Maharaj of Haridwar, Sant Ram Prasad Ji Maharaj of Punjab, Sant Jyonandanad Ji Maharaj, Sant Suraj Nath Ji Maharaj, Sant Parkash Ji, Sant Naval Kishore Dass Ji Maharaj, Sant Deviya Jyoti Maharaj and Rashtriya convenor, Bajrang Dal, Prakash Sharma. All these saints with Tricolor in their hands addressed the rally. They said the re-allocation of land to Shrine Board is a victory of Hindu Samaj.
Sixty three days long agitation and 40 days consecutive bandh in Jammu for restoration of land to the SASB is being described by many a veterans, who were witness to several agitations here including 1952-53 Praja Parishad agitation, as historical with mass participation of the people in most parts of the region.
Praja Parishad agitation against withdrawal of permit system, abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution granting special status to the State and ?Ek Vidhan, Ek Pardhan Ek Nishaan? from October 28, 1952 to June 24, 1953. Sixteen persons were killed and scores others were injured while a large number of agitationists including Pt Shyama Prasad Mukherjee were arrested. Mukherjee had died under mysterious circumstances on the intervening night of June 22 and 23 in a temporary jail at Nishat Bagh. The agitation had ended on June 24, 1953 following a call from the then Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru. The agitation was a success as permit system and ?Sadar-e-Riyasat? were abolished while Article 370 continued.
Full text of the Amarnath Accord
The Amarnath row had been solved after an accord was signed. Following is the text read out by Governor'sadvisor SS Bloeria and Shri Amarnath Sangharsh Samiti convener Leela Karan Sharma during a joint press conference on August 31 morning.