Geelani Plans Stir Against Amarnath Road

Geelani Plans Stir Against Amarnath Road

30 October 2012
Deccan Herald
Zulfikar Majid

Srinagar: Hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani has called a meeting of his Hurriyat factionon Wednesday where he is likely to announce an agitation against the Jammu and Kashmir Government’s plan to build a road to holy Amarnath cave in south Kashmir Himalayas. Sources told Deccan Herald that Geelani will announce protest program after the meeting in which all the executive members of the amalgam have been asked to ensure their presence. The Hurriyat hawk had earlier this month threatened that if the government goes ahead with a concrete construction along the yatra route, he will issue a protest calendar after Id. Geelani had said the road through the forest area would play havoc with the ecological balance of the zone. Hardline Hurriyat spokesperson Ayaz Akbar in a statement said that ‘Id Milan Party’ will be organised on Wednesday at Geelani’s Hyderpora residence. “Senior leaders of the amalgam will address the gathering and all the party workers and activists are cordially invited to grace the occasion,” he said. After almost 100 deaths during this year’s yatra, the Supreme Court had directed J&K government to take a decision on the measures to make the annual pilgrimage safe. A bench of Justice B S Chauhan and Justice Swatanter Kumar had asked the State government to take a decision on the various recommendations made by a high power committed by it. The Supreme Court on July 20 set up a committee to recommend measures to prevent the growing number of casualties during the pilgrimage. However, in a bid to prevent recurrence of 2008 like agitation on Amarnath, in August, the State government made it clear that it was not considering taking any road to the cave shrine. In 2008 row over Amarnath created a severe crisis as the state was divided on communal line with Jammu actually enforcing an economic blockade of Kashmir.