New Delhi: In an attempt to revamp
ravaged temple sites in the Kashmir Valley, the APMCC here
organised a cultural programme to highlight the sorry state of
Hindu shrines there and asked the Government to restore them
to their past glory.
All Party Migrant Co-ordination Committee (APMCC)
Vinod Pandit said there is considerable proof of temple sites
being encroached in the Valley.
"Over the years about 80 per cent of temples have been
encroached by leaders and activists of mainstream parties in
collusion with the land mafia," he said.
"If the government wants the return of Kashmiri
Pandits to the Valley, then we need to know what steps are
they taking to restore our places of worship as it plays an
important role in building confidence among the masses,"
The party had earlier in March this year alleged that
nearly 500 temples in the Valley have been encroached and had
demanded a CBI probe into the matter.
Addressing a sparse gathering on the occasion at Shri
Ram auditorium yesterday, BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman
said "we need to keep our eyes open to any act which is
detrimental in the restoration of our religious places in the
Sitharaman, while referring to the records brought
into light by the APMCC on alleged encroachment of various
temples and shrines in the Valley, said that it is a matter of
concern and the issue needs to be looked into.
"This needs to be checked, if it has happened then it
is a matter of concern. We need to take the issue with both
the centre and state governments," she said.
"We cannot give our religious places for secular or
whatever causes," the leader added.
Pandit also demanded the opening of the route to
historical Shardha Peeth in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK)
and asked Centre to initiate a "concrete dialogue" with
Pakistan in this regard.
He asked the government to establish the much awaited
Shardha Peeth University without any delay and also
recommended the passing of Temples and Shrines Bill in Jammu
and Kashmir legislative assembly, which will serve as
confidence building measure for Kashmiri Pandits (KP) willing
to return to their homeland.
The chairman said, "These are the long pending demands
of Kashmiri migrants which need immediate attention to save
the 5,000 year old cultural heritage of Kashmiri Pandits in
Valley and outside."
The event also witnessed the screening of a
documentary on "Yatra to Harmukh Ganga, Gangbal", carried out
by the party members during June 2009, urging the KPs to carry
more such journeys in order to revive the age old traditions
and remain connected to the valley.
Among the others present on the occasion were Lt Gen
(Retd) T K Sapru, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ideologue
K N Govindacharya and BJP co-ordinator Shyam Jaju.