This is a booklet which vividly explains the importance of the Shree Amarnath Shrine Board, especially for the Hindu devotees undertaking pilgrimage to Amarnath. For two continuous months the population of Jammu agitated against the state government to prove India'sintegrity, national culture, ancient history and the fact that the importance of Hindu religious places cannot be disregarded by any government.
As is well known, the coalition government of Congress had leased out 100 acres of land at Baltal in Jammu & Kashmir for two months to the Shrine Board. The State government had given this land through an Act passed by the State legislature, when not a single voice was raised against the move by any political or State party. Later, however, considering this decision to be in favour of the Hindus and the Indian nation, hackles were raised of the Kashmiri Muslims, particularly the separatist forces like the PDP and the Hurriyat Conference. They demanded return and seizure of land from the Hindus and gradually this demand gathered strength among the Muslims who have been demanding secession of Kashmir from India. Soon Pakistani flags were seen flying atop buildings in Kashmir while Indian flags were being burned in streets.
The Centre and the State government had to accede to the demands of the separatist forces and Governor NN Vohra, without studying the laws and stipulations, retuned the land to the Tourism Department of Jammu & Kashmir State. While the Muslims in Kashmir celebrated this victory of theirs, the Hindus in Jammu launched a mass agitation. Seeing the combined might of the Hindus agitation in Jammu, the State government had to return the land and all powers over to the Shree Amarnath Shrine Board.
This booklet says that the irony of the whole situation is that in 2002, when the Shree Amarnath Shrine Board asked for land from the State government the former Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed backed by his daughter Mehbooba Mufti of PDP immediately began to raise objections.
(Suruchi Prakashan, Keshav Kunj, Jhandewalan, New Delhi-110 055.)