Remove entry fee on buses to Vaishno Devi, Amarnath: BJP
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Last Updated: Friday, June 18, 2010, 23:15
  
New Delhi: BJP on Friday expressed its ire over imposition of entry fee on vehicles carrying pilgrims to Vaishno Devi and Amarnath shrines in Jammu and Kashmir and warned that it will launch an agitation if the "jaziya-like tax" was not withdrawn.

Party general secretary Vijay Goel said for the first time an entry fee of Rs 2,000 has been imposed on all buses carrying pilgrims to any of the two shrines.

"This decision of the Jammu and Kashmir government to impose fee on lakhs of pilgrims going for darshan of Baba Amarnath and Mata Vaishnodevi by their private vehicles is reminiscent of Jaziya imposed during Mughal period on Hindus," Goel said.

Rs 2,000 will be charged as entry fee from buses carrying pilgrims to Mata Vaishnodevi shrine and Rs 2,000 more per day if they stay for more than seven days.

Similarly, entry fee of Rs 2,000 will be charged from buses carrying pilgrims of Amarnath Yatra. If people go for pilgrimage of Amarnath for seven or less days by their own vehicles, they would be charged Rs 2,000 as entry fee and if they choose to stay for more than seven days they would be charged Rs 2,000 extra for each additional day.

"If this entry fee is not withdrawn then the people will be forced to go on an agitation," Goel warned.

He further alleged that Rs 25,000 was being charged from those who arrange 'langar' (community lunches) during Amarnath Yatra.

When informed that restrictions had also been imposed on Haj pilgrims -- liking fixing their number -- Goel said, "We are not in favour of fixing quota in any pilgrimage."

He called upon the UPA government to direct the Jammu and Kashmir dispensation to desist from making attempts to "discriminate" between followers of various religions. He asked the Omar Abdullah government not to practice such "shameful politics".

PTI


First Published: Friday, June 18, 2010, 23:15


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