News and Events
|80% Temples, Shrines, Holy Springs damaged in Valley: APMCC
Land mafia-pressure prevents Govt from tabling Shrine Bill
Jammu (India) April 11, 2010
Report & images by Raman Raina
Maintaining that 80% of temples, shrines and holy springs were damaged or encroached in Valley, All Party Migrant Coordination Committee (APMCC) on Friday said that it was the pressure of land mafia in Valley that prevented the successive governments from tabling the Kashmiri Hindu Shrines and Religious Places (Management and Regulation Bill).
In a joint press conference, leaders of various organizations said that the damaged number of temples across the valley was much higher than the admission of the government during the Assembly proceedings recently. Chairman APMCC- Vinod Pandit said that it is not only the temples but other allied religious properties of migrants which have either been damaged or encroached by land mafia in connivance with politicians and administration.
There are more than 550 temples in Kashmir including the shrines, religious inns and holy springs and out of which more than four hundred have been damaged and encroached, he said and added that the allied properties like cremation grounds, shishu samadian, were transformed into agriculture land.
He said that the five thousand years old heritage of Kashmiri Pandits was at verge of extinction and Government does nothing in this regard and added that his organization was going to organize seminars throughout the country and even abroad to press the demand. He further said that Government has contradicted its own statements as during last Assembly session in summer 2009, Government in reaction to a question of Chaman Lal Gupta said that only 103 temples were damaged but during the recent session at Jammu, it stated that 170 temples were damaged which automatically means that the vandalization of temples continued. The number increased by 67 within the period of some months, he said.
Vinod said that this not only explodes the myth of the normalcy in Kashmir but also the hallow claims of the government of taking migrants back adding while according to government figures 103 temples were damaged during last two decades but around 67 temples were damaged within last few months which speaks volumes about the seriousness of the government towards Kashmiri migrants.
He said either government was telling lies or it must accept that vandalisation of temples has reached to its peak during the last few months. General Secretary Kranti Dal, Preetam Sharma extended full support of APMCC and said that all the temples in Jammu region as well should be brought under single control.
All State Kashmiri Pandit Conference General Secretary- H.L.Chatta demanded a probe into the leasing out of agriculture land belonging to Khir Bhawani Asthapan at Tulmulla Ganderbal. President Mata Tripur Sundri Asthapan( Khanbarnyan) Devsar and Executive member of APMCC- Tej Krishen Dhar said that ten kanals cremation ground at Fatehpora, Sarai of Vaital Beru Mandir, Rainawari Motyar Srinagar, temple land at Wanpoh Anantnag, Thameshwar Berav Mandir Tomalhal Pulwama, Barb Shekha temple Pargachu Shopian, Cremation ground at Telvani Anantnag, Shiv Temple Kak Sarai Srinagar, Sant Labu Shah temple Tulmullah Ganderbal, Nand Kisore temple Sumbal Sonwari, Shiv temple Aali Kadal Srinagar, Shiv temple Lelihar Pulwama, Ganesh temple Sonawar Srinagar, Shiv temple Kak sarai Srinagar, 40 kanal cremation ground at Handwara, land of Kapal moc-han temple at Shopian and Sarai of temple at Quazigund and Suhsmshaan bhumi Sagam have either been vandalized or encroached upon by both government as well as land mafia of the valley.
He further said that Government erected irrigation lift plants through foreyards of the migrant and non migrant houses, adding that the authorities even defied the court orders and continued to construct the lift plants in their yards.
He demanded a white paper on the issue of encroachments, damages of temples and the land of the migrants in Kashmir valley during last two decades. He also demanded a thorough probe into the matter so that the guilty whosoever he may be is punished for the crime towards humanity.
Those who attended the press conference included President Kranti Dal- Raj Rup Singh Chib, General Secretary Dharmarth Trust Sudhar Sangarsh Samti- Karnail Chand, President Non Camp Coordination committee- D.N.Kissu, Convener J&K thinkers Forum, President Sanatan Dharam Sabha Qazigun- Brij Bharti, Secretary APMCC- Ravinder Pandita, Raj Nath Fotedar, President Vetasta Samaj Chand Ji Khar and Executive member APMCC- Veer Ji Bhat.
|Raman Raina is Shehjar's Chief Photo Journalist based in Jammu, India.
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