New Delhi: “It is highly regrettable and unfortunate that BJP government in India has officially cancelled the centuries old, world renowned Amarnath Yatra from celebration for the first time in the history of about 200 years of pilgrimage. It is organized in Kashmir every year as Amarnath Cave is located on the foot of Himalayas. It is a world well-known secular celebration which is attended by all those who may belong to any religion or country. It was organized by two religious organizations in Kashmir Valley where millions of people take part in the yatra and pay holy obeisance at the sanctum sanctorum having ice lingam of Lord Shiva. It is worth remembering that yatra, at present, is being organized under the guidance and control of a trust called ‘Amarnath Shrine Board Trust’, headed by the Lt. Governor appointed in Jammu and Kashmir after the conversion of the state of J&K as a Union Territory. Historically and on record this yatra celebration started during the Dogra Rule in J&K with the full and active cooperation of the religious activists in J&K.
“It is the only holy place in India which is being patronized and organized by the religious activists of Gujjar community (Muslim) which has been taking care of the yatris including its administration run by the Gujjars (Muslims).
This is being organized, socially controlled for the hundreds of years old convention and tradition under the guidance of Muslims (Gujjars) patronage. This place was discovered by the same community’s religious leaders centuries back. It was during Maharaja Pratap Singh of J&K who had assisted, supported and backed the Gujjar patrons of the cave which is on 150 years’ record.
This yatra was fully supported emotionally, socially and otherwise by the Rulers of J&K and was patronized by the Govt. of J&K since 1947.
It was sad and tragic that centuries’ old Amarnath Yatra was banned this time by an official declaration of the government with no consultation with the Dharmarth Trust or with any representative, social or political in Jammu and Kashmir without showing any respect to thousands of pilgrims who had booked their yatra to reach Srinagar and then to the holy place through appropriate transportation.
It was only yesterday that the BJP government took an unfortunate decision to cancel this yatra at the 11th hour. Neither the political representatives nor social or religious leadership was consulted by the BJP government in Delhi.” This draconian decision by the Union Govt. for the first time since its history was taken when all preparations were completed.
Even the initial performance in connection with the yatra was allowed to be performed in Jammu, Srinagar and at Shankaracharya Temple in Srinagar.
Prof.Bhim Singh, Chief Patron of J&K National Panthers Party who has been associated with this yatra movement for the past 50 years as a social activist, as a Legislator in J&K has expressed deep shock on the Central Govt. and demanded a public explanation about this sudden decision to ban this yatra when the preparation was all done and complete.
NPP Supremo, who is also Sr. Advocate of Supreme Court expressed shock on this decision without consulting the organizer, Dharmarth Trust or the social and religious representatives in Jammu and Kashmir. NPP Supremo said that this event, Amarnath Yatra, was one of the most popular, secular and enjoyed all cooperation of the people from all religious and political associations. This decision is unfortunate and unacceptable. NPP Supremo urged the President of India, Shri Ramnath Kovind, for his urgent intervention to hand over this Amarnath Yatra to the Dharmarth Trust in consultation with the representatives of recognized political parties operating in Jammu and Kashmir in the interest of secular image of J&K with credible support and cooperation for the Amarnath Yatra movement for centuries.