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Muslims demand restoration of Hindu pilgrimage centre

Written by: Staff
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Jammu, Apr 25: Setting an example of brotherhood, the Muslim community of Dooru in Anantnag district has demanded the restoration of a Hindu pilgrimage centre near the Jawahar tunnel and to make it a base camp for the Holy Amarnath Yatra starting from June 11.

Muslims alongwith with their displaced pandit brethern called on Governor, Lt. General (Retd) S K Sinha at Raj Bhavan here and pleaded for the take over of the Omh pilgrimage centre in Cheshma Verinag by Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board(SASB).

Principal Secretary to the Governor and Chief Executive Officer of the board Dr Arun Kumar was also present at the occasion.

The delegation led by MLA and former Works Minister, Mr Ghulam Ahmed Mir, expressed concern over alleged neglect of the ancient pilgrimage centre and demanded to make it a base camp.

''Being the first yatra stop on entry into the valley, the development and setting up of a base camp at Omh will fulfil the aspirations of not only Kashmiri pandits but also the Muslims of the area as well,'' Mr Mir said.

He added that before several decades, this place, having spiritual significance for being nearer to the originating point of Vytasta (Jhelum), was a spot of the Holy Amarnath Yatra.

He said by giving physical shape to the demand, the shrine board could help in re-establishing an ancient pilgrimage centre to serve as a place of interaction between divided sons of 'Mauj Kasheer (Mother Kashmir)'.

The Governor appreciated the generosity of the Muslim community and said his has strengthened his belief that kashmiriyat is the only weapon to fight all evils in the valley.

Muslims and pandits in the valley are inheritors of a glorious tradition that has withstood the test of time.

General Sinha said that he, as Chairman of Shri Amarnath Shrine Board, will examine the demand and discuss it at the appropriate level. However, he said that diversion of the yatra route might not be possible this time in view of security and other constraints.

He also assured the delegation that a sufi music festival would be organised in Verinagh on the commencement of the yatra this year.

The delegation also drew the attention of another worship place, Vethvuthur (source of river vitasta) in foothills of Pir Panchal in Verinagh and sought for its renovation.

UNI

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