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No breakthrough on issue of link road to new track but shopkeepers end dharna

Excelsior Correspondent
KATRA, Mar 3: Even as the agitating shopkeepers lifted their protest dharna after Police bailed out eight protesters and the administration assured to look into their demand, there was no breakthrough on the tussle over construction of road linking newly developed track to Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine.
Since there was no clarity on the demand of agitating businessmen, who were apparently divided over the utilization of  new   track or  the place to link it, the administration asked them to  formulate a committee and present demands in written by tomorrow for taking up the same  with Government  as well as the Shrine Board.
Ravinder Kumar, Deputy Commissioner Reasi, told the Excelsior that another round of meeting with the agitating shopkeepers will be held tomorrow at 11 a.m and the latter have agreed to be peaceful besides constituting a committee and presenting charter of their demands so that the matter may be taken up with the higher authorities through a proper channel.
Earlier, a meeting of the representatives of agitating businessmen was held with DC Reasi at the office of SSP Reasi, Tahir Sajjad Bhat, who was also present there. After the meeting, agitating shopkeepers announced to lift their protest dharna at Main bus stand as Police bailed out eight businessmen, who were arrested yesterday under section 107 and 151 of the RPC for obstructing work at the link road site on thursday.
However, no decision could be taken on the issue of link road and restrictive use of newly developed track as there were multiple demands and the groups. “There are multiple demands by the agitating businessmen who are also divided in groups and in absence of any clarity, we are not in a position to take   any decision on the matter,” DC Reasi said.
While several agitating businessmen are pressing for restrictive use of the new track, some others are suggesting to link it from Charan Paduka instead of Darshani Deodi at Ban Ganga.
Even as peace and normalcy prevailed in the Katra town, which remained open today,  pony ride operators and shopkeepers from Darshani Deodi to Charan Paduka observed a partial shutdown and took out protest march on Friday.
Yesterday, Police had to use mild force against agitating shopkeepers and arrest eight of them  after a mob of protesters tried to forcibly stop work on the link road between newly developed track to the cave shrine and ‘Darshni Deodi’ at Ban Ganga, following which the entire Katra town observed a shutdown.

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