PIL seeks SC directions to govt on subsidy to pilgrims

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New Delhi, Feb 27 (UNI) A PIL was filed today in the Supreme Court seeking directions to the Centre for providing subsidy to Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists during their pilgrimage to Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and China on the same lines as Haj pilgrims.

Ashok Pandey, the petitioner, has also prayed that subsidy should also be extended to the pilgrims belongings to these religions when they visit pilgrimage sites situated within the country.

The petitioner has appealed to the apex court to issue directions to the Central government to contruct 'dharama houses' at various religious places of Hindus in the country.

He also prayed to the court to direct the Central government to persuade Sri Lanka to permit Hindus to visit that country without a passport or visa and also start ship journey between the two countries so that Hindus could visit places like 'Ashok Vatika' where Sita was kept in captivity by damon king Ravana.

The petitioner told the court that he had made several representations to various ministeries of the Central government but to no avail adding that the government was not likely to do anything unless the court issued directions to the departments concerned.

The petition is likely to come up for hearing next week.

UNI AKS/SC MS HS1618

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