Rana seeks Guv’s intervention, calls NGT clarification on Amarnath Yatra ‘more intrusive’


Precious Kashmir News

Jammu, Dec 15: Terming clarification of the National Green Tribunal over its controversial order on Amarnath pilgrimage in Kashmir Himalayas invasive on the religious affairs, National Conference Provincial President Devender Singh Rana on Friday said commandments of any kind on the matters of faith were unacceptable.
“The directive about maintaining silence before the holy Shiv lingam in the cave sanctum sanctorum betrays logic as outpouring of hymens during the course of darshan is natural manifestation of sentiments and therefore the mouths cannot be ordered to be shut or stitched,” he said, in a statement.
The National Conference legislator said that a slew of measures have already been taken by the shrine board in consonance with the spiritual and emotional aspects of the pilgrimage, besides keeping in view the sentiments and emotions of devotees.
He hoped that these issues would be left to the sane counseling of religious and spiritual scholars under the aegis of the Board.
Rana said the NGT directives would create uncalled for restrictions during the course of pilgrimage and give rise to avoidable apprehensions. “The prudence demands that religious matters be left to the duly accredited bodies entrusted with the management of shrines and pilgrimages,” he added.
Expressing concern over “continuous interference” of NGT in religious matters, the Provincial President referred to its earlier order of limiting the number of pilgrims to Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine on Trikuta Hills in Jammu, saying this amounts to “infringement of the rights of lakhs of devotees thronging from the world over to pay obeisance 24X7 365.”
He said the NGT directive will jeopardise the economy of Jammu region with sharp fall in the pilgrimage that has sustained the livelihood of thousands of people, especially during the disturbed conditions when tourism to Kashmir witnessed nose-dive.
He said the people of the region would hugely lose their source of sustenance because of the directive.
Rana made a passionate appeal to Governor N. N Vohra, who is also Chairman of the Amarnathji Shrine Board and Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, to take up the matter with the National Green Tribunal and take all necessary measures for insulating the most revered pilgrimages from outside interference. “This is necessary for respecting the religious sentiments of the people of a particular faith,” he said.
The National Green Tribunal on Thursday clarified that it did not declare the Amarnath cave a silent zone and that silence has to be maintained only in front of the ice shivlingam (the idol).
Declaring the cave a silent zone on Wednesday, the Tribunal had barred bells, chants and religious offerings beyond the entry point.
The directions by a bench, headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, were aimed at avoiding avalanches, maintaining the pristine nature of the holy cave and the eco-sensitivity of the region.
The decision attracted protests from Hindu groups who called the order a diktat.