Demand in RS to restore pilgrimage to Kousar Nag in Kashmir

A demand was raised in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday to restore pilgrimage to Kousar Nag in Jammu and Kashmir with a member saying the issue was linked to religious and cultural sentiments of Kashmiri Pandits and Yatra was vital to promote communal harmony and strengthen economy.

PTI| Last Updated: Aug 05, 2014, 17:20 PM IST

New Delhi: A demand was raised in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday to restore pilgrimage to Kousar Nag in Jammu and Kashmir with a member saying the issue was linked to religious and cultural sentiments of Kashmiri Pandits and Yatra was vital to promote communal harmony and strengthen economy.

Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Avinash Rai Khanna (BJP) sought the intervention of the government for allowing the Kousar Nag religious yatra to proceed, saying the Jammu and Kashmir government had rescinded the order permitting the event.

He said the state government`s decision to rescind the order permitting Kashmiri Pandits to proceed with the annual and peaceful religious yatra to Kousar Nag was not proper as it promotes not only religious tourism but creates employment opportunity for thousands.

Khanna said Kashmiri Pandits have been taking out the Yatra annually and such a decision "has hurt their sentiments".

He said the decision was taken after some organisations said it would fuel communal tension but instead the Yatra has a tradition to promote unity and integrity.

A large number of members associated with the demand.

Khanna through a special mention also raised the issue of "sabotage" of pilgrims camps recently during the Amarnath Yatra.

He demanded "a CBI inquiry into the sabotage of camps of pilgrims during the Amarnath Yatra."