Chennai/Srinagar/New Delhi, August 27 : Muslim clerics on Wednesday accused the lawmakers for politicizing the issue of Amarnath land allotment to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) in Jammu and Kashmir.
Jammu and Kashmir has been witnessing agitations and protests for almost past two months on the issue of allotment of land to SASB for setting up temporary camps for the devotees taking part in the annual Amarnath yatra.
Accusing the politicians of misguiding the people of Kashmir over the issue, the clerics said, the Kashmiris are not against the yatra, rather they go out of their way to help the devotees.
"People have been misguided in Kashmir giving the politicians an opportunity. The original mission is that the Amarnath yatra should be conducted peacefully and with facilities, all the Kashmir leaders are saying this. The Amarnath yatra has not been stopped till date, even when the militancy was at its peak in Kashmir," said Mehmoud Madni, a Muslim cleric in Chennai
"Recently also the Amarnath yatra continued during the nine-day shutdown in the valley and the Kashmiris organised community lunches for the devotees during the shutdown, when there was unavailability of food. They (Kashmiris) have been saying that they will never stop the yatra at any cost," he added.
Meanwhile, another cleric in New Delhi rejected any communal feelings involved in the entire issue and said the issue is just being politicised.
"Every religious place should be respected and all the devotees should also be respected. I've heard that the devotees going to Kashmir are given a warm welcome and provided with food and other facilities by the Kashmiris. There is no communal feeling there. What I feel is that the issue is political," said Mufti Mukarram, Shahi Imam, Fatehpuri Mosque, New Delhi.
He further added that common people suffered the most with the agitations and violence that has engulfed the state.
"It is common people who are the real sufferers. The politicians can use them any way they feel like. Politics has been working behind this issue. Amarnath yatra is centuries old, so, why suddenly such an issue has been raised? Why not the issue was raised ten years ago, or 20 years ago or 50 years ago? It is all politics and we cannot understand it. What's happening is bad and all religious places should be equally respected," he said.
The state, whose tourist brochures proclaims the Kashmir valley as "paradise on earth", has suffered more than one billion dollar in lost business.