Kashmiri Pandits demand passage of Temples Bill, hold protest
Jammu: An amalgamation of Kashmiri Pandit organisations, under the banner of Premnath Bhat Memorial Trust, Friday held a demonstration here demanding the passage of Hindu Shrines Bill.
The protesting KP`s, who assembled outside the Press Club here, raised placards and shouted slogans in support of their demands and urged the state government to fulfill its promise of passing the Bill.
"Last year in April, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah in a meeting with the Apex Committee had promised that he will bring an ordinance in this regard, but till date nothing has happened," Vice President of Jammu and Kashmir Vichar Manch and member of the Apex Committee, R L Bhat said here.
Bhat also questioned the motive of the government behind the inordinate delay in passing the Bill.
"We met lot of ministers during last few months and everyone assured us that the Bill will be passed. We want to know why the government has then not done anything in this regard. It seems they are working at the behest of separatist forces, who do not want the Hindu shrines and temples to be restored in the Valley," Bhat alleged.
It is also important to mention here that All Party Migrants Co-ordination Committee (APMCC) had earlier on January 30 held a 15-day long fast unto death in Porbandar, Gujarat in support of their six point charter of demands, including the passage of the Temples and Shrines Bill.
Meanwhile, BJP who also joined the protest, said it remained committed towards passing of the Bill.
"Our stand on the passage of the Temples and Shrines Bill remains firm. We have supported it in the past and we will continue to support it," BJP state general secretary (Organisation) Ashok Kaul, who also participated in the protest, said.
The Bill, `Jammu and Kashmir Hindu Shrines and Religious Places (Management and Regulation)`, is aimed at "proper" management of the Hindu shrines and religious places and was introduced in the state Assembly on March 9, 2009.
"The bill is presently at the consideration stage," Minister of State for Revenue, Aijaz Ahmed Khan, has said in a written reply in the Assembly last week.
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