Protests against ''paid darshans'' at Vaishno Devi Shrine in Jammu

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Jammu, Jun 3 (UNI) Many political and student organisations here today protested against the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) for introducing ''paid darshans'' of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine.

Jammu University Research Scholars Association (JURSA) took out a protest rally on the Jammu University campus amid anti-government and anti-Shrine Board slogans and criticised the decision of ''paid darshans''.

However, with banners and placards, hundreds of students joined the protest and demanded immediate exemption from the facility of ''paid darshans'' and said anybody coming for darshans, should be treated on a par.

Meanwhile, supporting the agitation, Shiv Sena Hindustan also lodged a protest on the decision of introducing this new facility for the pilgrims.

''We strongly condemn the decision. The Board should treat the pilgrims equally and instead of dividing the pilgrims on the basis of money they pay to have darshans, everybody should be given equal treatment at the Bhawan,'' Vipan Hindu, chairman of Shive Sena Hindustan said.

However, the protestors also burnt the effigy of Shrine Board authorities and demanded free and safe yatra for the pilgrims coming from across the country to pay obeisance at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine situated on Trikuta Hills in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir.

UNI VBH SP BD1940

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