JAMMU, DEC 25: National Conference Provincial president and MLA Nagrota Devender Singh Rana met Governor N N Vohra at the Raj Bhavan here today.
Rana voiced serious concern about recent reports regarding varied restrictions which are proposed to be imposed on the conduct of the two nation-wide pilgrimages to Jammu and Kashmir regions, including the conduct of rituals in the Sanctum Sanctorum. He cautioned about the likely consequences if there was any disturbance of the centuries old traditions.
Taking strong exception to unwarranted interference of the National Green Tribunal into matters of faith, Rana sought intervention of Governor in getting the illogical directives on the revered pilgrimages of Amarnath and Mata Vaishno Devi revoked.
Rana gave a historical perspective of the conduct of these two pilgrimages and sentiments of Hindus attached with these besides their economic impact.
He told the Governor that one after another directive over the conduct of these pilgrimages is intriguing. He said the subsequent flip-flop and clarifications offered by the NGT make the developments mysterious and it is time the Shrine Boards rein in to counter the ill-effects of illogical directives. He said the boards have to take due care of religious concerns attached to these shrines.
Expressing concern over the fallout of NGT directions on the local economies, Rana said these most popular pilgrimages are source of sustenance to thousands of families across the state, directly and indirectly. National Conference MLA referred to the anxieties of the ponywallas and other stakeholders in Katra and said they had become restive lately due to direct threat to their avocations. He said reduction in the number of pilgrims to Mata Vaishno Devi will be colossal loss to religious pilgrims in the region.
As regards the eco-concerns of Shri Amarnathji Yatra, the Provincial President said the SASB has inherent mechanism to address to the concerns and therefore there is no need for any outside agency to interfere. He wondered over the directive about maintaining silence before the holy Shivlingam in the cave sanctum sanctorum, saying it betrays logic as outpouring of Mantras during the course of darshan is natural manifestation of sentiments and therefore the mouths cannot be ordered to be shut or stitched.
Rana said the Amarnath Yatra is the world’s only pilgrimage that is performed by one community and hugely facilitated by another. The spirit of harmony, which is the essence of this yatra, is needed to be preserved by not meddling into traditional course of its performance, he urged the Governor.
Rana requested the Governor that nothing less than rolling back of the NGT directives on both the pilgrimages will assuage the anger among devout.
Governor observed that both the Shrine Boards would consider the issues under reference and take the required action. He urged Sh. Rana to continue sustained efforts for promoting the growth and the welfare of the people of the State.
Meanwhile, Shambu Nath Khajuria, Chairman of Border Area Peace Mission, a Padmashree Awardee, also called on Governor today. Khajuria who has a long and illustrious record, since 1972, of promoting coordination and working as an important bridge for the maintenance of cordial relationship between border inhabitants of Poonch and the Security Forces briefed Governor about the varied problems being faced by the residents of the border areas. Governor lauded Khajuria’s continuing initiatives for the management of problems in the Poonch border areas and urged him to maintain his missionary zeal to serve the nation.