170 temples damaged in Kashmir during two decades

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170 temples damaged in Kashmir during two decades: Govt
Jammu (India) March 27, 2010
Report by Raman Raina

Jammu and Kashmir government on Saturday admitted in the state assembly that 170 temples had been damaged in the militancy-related incidents in Kashmir valley in past 20 years.

Replying to a question from Jugal Kishore of BJP, minister for revenue, relief and rehabilitation Raman Bhalla said in written reply that as many as 170 temples had been damaged during past two decades of militancy in Kashmir valley.

He further said there were 430 temples in the valley before the migration of Kashmiri pandits (KPs) in wake of eruption of terrorism in 1989.

Bhalla said 90 temples have also been renovated in the valley for which Rs 33 lakh have been spent.

The ex-gratia relief is provided for renovation of temples which suffered damage as result of militancy related incidents, he said.

The district administration and police authorities ensure that religious places and temples are protected, the minister said.

"The government has exposed to protect temples as it has admitted that 170 temples have been damaged. The temples were subjected to attacks, bomb blasts etc during militancy," Kishore said.

On the issue, All Party Migrant Coordination Committee President Vinod Pandit said, "Cultural and religious identity of KPs has been vandalised in valley. The government should issue a white paper on damage of temples, shrines of KPs and land encroachments."

Raman Raina is Shehjar's Chief Photo Journalist based in Jammu, India.
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