Kashmiri Pandits demand rebuilding of Jawala Ji temple

An organisation of Kashmiri Pandits on Monday demanded reconstruction of Mata Jawala Ji temple on a war-footing, two days after the ancient shrine at Khrew was gutted in a fire caused by short-circuit.

Jammu: An organisation of Kashmiri Pandits on Monday demanded reconstruction of Mata Jawala Ji temple on a war-footing, two days after the ancient shrine at Khrew was gutted in a fire caused by short-circuit.

"We demand that the rebuilding of the shrine should be taken up on a war-footing," said Dr R L Bhat, Chief Spokesperson of Prem Nath Bhat Memorial Trust, a nodal organisation of the displaced Kashmiri Pandits.

Calling for an "immediate and comprehensive" rebuilding, Bhat said that the ancient module of the shrine should be preserved and not be tampered with.

He has also called for involvement of the Jawala Ji Samiti led by M K Raina. They have already restored the 'puja' at ancient Shila of the shrine.

Condemning the mismanagement for preventing dousing the fire at Jawala Ji, he said the entire Hindu community of Kashmir has expressed shocked at the fire at Jawala Bhagwati Mandir at Khrew in Pulwama district.

"Though accidents may not be ruled out, the massive damage to one of the holiest shrines of Kashmir could well have been anticipated," he said.

Jawali Ji is the head deity of people living in three districts of Kashmir.

He said the people were aghast at the lack of fire- fighting arrangements at the holy temple.

"It was reported that the motor supplying the water for daily use at the shrine, had not been working for the last several months and no fire extinguishers had been installed in the shrine, though it is mandatory to make provision against such mishaps," he said.

Kashmiri Pandits have reiterated total support from the Hindu community of Kashmir for passage of Hindu Temples and Shrines Bill to ensure protection and preservation of temples in the Valley.

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