'Maharajas' selling temple land in Kashmir illegally :Shankaracharya
New Delhi, Mar 25 (UNI) Sarvagya Peeth - Kashmir Shankaracharya Swami Amritanand Dev today demanded that government conduct an enquiry into the illegal selling/leasing of Hindu temples in Kashmir and properties associated with it.
Charging Mr Ajatshatru Singh, son of former Sadr-e-Riyasat Karan Singh, who is the sole trustee of the 'Dharmarth Trust' under which all temples in Kashmir come, with being party to the illegal selling of temple land in Kashmir, the Shankaracharya said this was being done despite a court agreement in 1979 that no temple property would be sold.
''After Hindus were forced away from Kashmir, now their religious places and pilgrimage centres are being destroyed through a well thought out conspiracy.'' We demand that an Act on the lines of the Sri Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee, which controls and looks after the Sikh shrines all over the country, be formed to look after the temples in Kashmir under the stewardship of the state Governor, he said.
''The Centre should look into this immediately as this was destruction of national heritage, pilgrimage centres and cultural symbols.'' Naming the Ram Mandir in Maisuma and Sahashtranetra Mandir on way to Kedarnath as examples of 'encroachment', the Shankaracharya said the same Maharajas who had helped build and preserve the temples earlier, were party to the illegal selling and lease of its land which was ironical.
The Dharmarth Trust had been created by Maharaj Gulab Singh to look after temples in Kashmir after 1947.
UNI AN LR KN2107