Some Govt depts tried to sabotage Dussehra in Kashmir: KPPS

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Srinagar, Oct 22 (UNI) The Kashmiri Pandit Sangharash Samiti (KPSS), an organisation of non-migrant members of the community, has alleged that some government department tried to ''sabotage'' its Dussehra celebration programme here yesterday, held after a gap of 20 years.

''Some government departments tried to sabotage the Dussehra festival on unnecssary grounds and reasons despite permission by the District Magistrate,'' a KPPS statement said.

However, it thanked Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and his wife Shamima Azad for their ''timely'' intervention and cooperation in organising the festival here.

''We are thankful to the majority community (Muslims) for their support, participation and cooperation, which they have been giving us for the past 15 years,'' the organisation added.

Dussehra, a festival symbolising triumph of good over evil and truth over falsehood, was celebrated in the strife-torn Kashmir valley yesterday after nearly two decades with the effigy of ten-headed demon-king of Lanka Ravana being put to flames.

The only difference being that this time the effigy was set ablaze in the Sher-i-Kashmir cricket stadium and not at Iqbal Park, previously known as Hazuri Bagh, where it used to be put to flames about 20 years ago. The last Dussehra festival in Kashmir was held in 1987 at Hazuri Bagh.

Hundreds of Kashmiri Pandits also celebrated the festival here today, nearly 19 years after they migrated to other parts of the country following eruption of militancy in Kashmir in late 1980s.

They were joined in the festivities by their Muslim brethern.

''Our Muslim brethren highly encouraged us to continue such religious functions. Shoba yatra was taken out in Srinagar this September after nearly 18 years in a peaceful atmosphere. As a mark of true brotherhood, hundreds of Muslims also joined the yatra,'' KPPS president Sanjay K Tickoo said in the statement.

He said the Kashmiri Pandits, who did not migrate, have been totally ignored by the world community. ''To show our presence to the world, we decided to start the age-old traditions and religious functions under the banner of KPPS,'' Mr Tickoo added.

UNI

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