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J&K ex-Governor blames PDP, media roles in Amarnath row

J&K ex-Governor blames PDP, media roles in Amarnath row

Author: PTI
Publication: Daily Excelsior
Date: August 10, 2008
URL: http://www.dailyexcelsior.com/web1/08aug10/news.htm

Former J&K Governor Lt Gen (Retd) S K Sinha today took on the PDP for its so-called anti-national role while blaming the media for "misleading and misinforming" the public on the sensitive Amarnath land row.

Alleging that Mufti Mohammed Sayeed was opposed to the length of the annual pilgrimage to the cave shrine, Sinha said the former Chief Minister and PDP patron placed prefabricated structures along the Baltal route and continuously resisted his work as chairman of Shri Amarnath Shrine Board.

In his 90-minute keynote address at a seminar on "Shri Amarnath Land Transfer -- Implications of Revocation" organised here by the Forum on Integrated National Security, Sinha blamed the media, too, for its irresponsible coverage of the issue.

"I can understand the Valley press being prejudiced and engaging in yellow journalism but the national media has been misleading public opinion on this issue which is a matter of great concern," he said.

Sinha said vested interests are trying to portray the decision

of land transfer to SASB as one made by him "whereas the truth is that the state cabinet in May this year had unanimously approved of land being given to the Board."

Separatists are whipping up the sentiments of Kashmiri citizens against the transfer, he said, by projecting it as a step to facilitate permanent settlement of Hindus and one that could potentially change the demography of the Valley.

Sinha also blamed the Centre for going into an "overdrive" with its "appeasement policy and hurried revoking of the order." "All I had been trying to do as Governor went up in smoke during the last ten days of my tenure," the former Governor of Jammu and Kashmir said.

He added that Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad had fallen victim to the politics of compulsion.

"The PDP stabbed the government in the back. Azad was a very able Chief Minister, totally secular and national in outlook... He fell victim to his coalition partner's move patronised by Delhi, who sacrificed their own CM to appease the PDP," Sinha said.

Sinha spoke at length about Kashmiriyat or the Valley ethos of which both Muslims and Hindus were an inseparable part and how fundamentalist forces were trying to destroy that.

"The Mufti's role in the Baglihar project and his stand on dual currency and dual control indicate his party's anti-national and communal leanings," he said.

"He (Sayeed) gave no replies to my letters to the state government to conduct the Amarnath yatra for two months as he was dead against this step. Though his government went to the Court against this, the Shrine Board's stand was upheld and the yatra was allowed for two months," Sinha said.

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