Rana meets Governor, seeks intervention to counter NGT’s Amarnath directives

Jammu: Taking strong exception to ‘unwarranted interference’ of the National Green Tribunal into matters of faith, National Conference Provincial President Devender Singh Rana on Sunday sought intervention of Governor N. N Vohra in getting the illogical directives on the revered pilgrimages of Amarnath and Vaishno Devi revoked.

In a meeting with the Governor at Raj Bhavan this evening, Rana gave a historical perspective of the conduct of these two pilgrimages and sentiments of Hindus attached with these besides their economic impact.

Rana as per the statement issued to KNS expressed gratitude to the Governor, who is also Chairman of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board and Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, for taking note of the massive concern shown by various socio-political organizations, including National Conference, and convening the Board meeting early next month to review the developments taking place in the wake of NGT directives.

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He told the Governor that one after another directive over the conduct of these pilgrimages is intriguing, He said the subsequent flip-flop and clarifications offered by the NGT make the developments mysterious and it is time the Shrine Boards rein in to counter the ill-effects of illogical directives. He said the boards have to take due care of religious concerns attached to these shrines.

Expressing concern over the fallout of NGT directions on the local economies, Rana said these most popular pilgrimages are source of sustenance to thousands of families across the state, directly and indirectly.

National Conference MLA referred to the anxieties of the ponywalls and other stakeholders in Katra and said they had become restive lately due to direct threat to their avocations. He said reduction in the number of pilgrims to Vaishno Devi will be colossal loss to religious pilgrims in the region.

He said the economic dividends of pilgrim tourism in Jammu have been impressive. The pilgrimage to Mata Vaishno Devi has hugely brought economic gains to locals, he said, adding that imposition of riders will impact these, leading to adverse impact on economy.

As regards the eco-concerns of Amarnath Yatra, the Provincial President said the SASB has inherent mechanism to address to the concerns and therefore there is no need for any outside agency to interfere.

He wondered over the directive about maintaining silence before the holy Shivlingam in the cave sanctum sanctorum, saying it betrays logic as outpouring of Mantras during the course of darshan is natural manifestation of sentiments and therefore the mouths cannot be ordered to be shut or stitched. He said these issues should be left to the sane counseling of religious and spiritual scholars under the aegis of the Board.

Rana said the Amarnath Yatra is the world’s only pilgrimage that is performed by one community and hugely facilitated by another. The spirit of harmony, which is the essence of this yatra, is needed to be preserved by not meddling into traditional course of its performance, he urged the Governor.

Rana requested the Governor that nothing less than rolling back of the NGT directives on both the pilgrimages will assuage the anger among devout.


(With inputs from KNS)

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