Jammu entered into the 26th day of Bandh and 49th day of agitation in response to a call given by Shri Amarnath Yatra Sangarsh Samiti (SAYSS) demanding restoration of 800 kanals land to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB).
In the valley on the other hand the chairmen of parallel factions of Hurriyat Conference, Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Sunday said that the resistance struggle will continue and asked people to gather on Monday and a procession would be taken out heading towards Sonawar to submit a memorandum at the United Nations Military Observers (UNMO) office. The Hurriyat’s Coordination Committee also said there will be no strike from Tuesday to Thursday.
The SAYSS has said that it is open for talks if the center has concrete plans. The first all party delegation which came to Jammu to they allege was not serious about resolving the issue. The Sangharsh Samiti has alleged that Amar Singh was sleeping through the meeting.The convenor of the Samiti has said thatthey are open for a 'middle path' if it comes form the government.
The whole scenario is gradually but inevitably taking a communal tone.Some Gujjar khullas or huts wre burnt.The Samiti alleges these khullas were empty as the Gujjars are a nomadic tribe and move to the mountains in summer. The Kashmiri Muslims of the valley have claimed beating up of Kashmiri truck drivers in Jammu by hindu fundamentalists. It has resulted in the death of one driver.
2000 semi and unskilled laborers have left the valley under the threat of severe repercussions by militants and locals. These laborers were mostly from Bihar and Jharkhand.
The Center, Congress and the UPA meanwhile is still bungling along. The blame of worsening conditions is in large part due to the ineptness shown by the Centarl goverment. Some of the glaring mistakes were :
a)It took the Center 40 days of agitation in the Jammu region which was preceded by violent protests in the valley to take note of the problem.
b)The whole issue of "economic blockade" was being politicised and blown out of proportion. There was a bandh in Jammu and the highway was affected too. There was a call of blocking the highway to Srinagar. The government took time in taking help of the army to clear the highway. The highway was cleared within a day or two but no efforts were made to dipel the notion that the 'blockade' had been lifted.
c) If there was and is a shortage of essental commodities they could have been airlifted to the valley.
d) The seriousness of the crisis has still been not appreciated by the government beacuse there is no direct involvement of the Prime Minister as yet.
So while the Center sleepwalks through the issue parties like BJP, PDP, NC are playing the game of votebank politics and hoping to piggyback happily to the upcoming elections in 2009. The seperatist leaders in the valley and the communal forces elsewhere are having the last laugh.