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JAMMU: Various organizations from Kashmir and Jammu today made a joint appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to initiate steps to facilitate the travel of Hindu pilgrims to most revered Shardha Temple in Pakistan occupied Kashmir in Muzafarrabad by taking up the matter with Pakistan government and also sought cross LoC travel for the pilgrimage for J&K Hindus.
 
Addressing a joint Press Conference organized by All Parties Migrants Coordination Committee (APMCC) various Hindu leaders resolved to fulfill this long pending dream of Hindus to visit their most revered shrine in PoK and also warned those elements who were trying to divide Hindus on the basis of caste creed, colour or region saying Shardha Mata temple belongs to all Hindus and every Hindu must extend unconditional support to APMCC in getting this long pending demand fulfilled.
 
The leaders said that APMCC has been in the forefront in raising the demand upto the level of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and need support from all the Hindus as the shrine belongs to all Hindus. The leaders castigated those who were questioning the demand saying where were they when APMCC was fighting on streets for the purpose and its chairman Vinod Pandit had gone on fast unto death twice at Jammu and Porbandar.
 
They also reminded them that it was APMCC that united all the Hindu organisatiosn for the purpose in 2011 when majority of the Hindu organizations joined Vinod Pandit on protest under the banner of All Parties Hindu Coordination Committee (APHCC) while these leaders were asleep then.
 
Deliberating on the issue Senior Journalist & APMCC National Spokesperson King C Bharati while welcoming the fast paced developments on the issue said that All the four Shankaracharyas, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Dr Jitendra Singh, MoS PMO, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and others have already been apprised about the demand by the APMCC-Save Shardha Committee leadership in their various meetings and all of them have assured that the issue will be taken up adding recently BJP MLC Romesh Arora alongwith 10 MLAs and MLCs of different organizations also met the J&K Chief Minister in this regard after which Mehbooba Mufti also gave positive signals about the issue.
 
The spokesperson said that Prime Minister Modi was already aware of the issue as a delegation led by Vinod Pandit had a detailed discussion with Shri Narendera Modi ji on February 18, 2013 at his residence in Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat where he had assured to take-up the matter with the Pakistan Govt after elections. Bharati who was also the spokesperson of the delegation which met Narendra Modi in 2013 said that Vinod Pandit had observed fast un-death protest twice in this regard first at Jammu in 2011 for ten days and later at Porbandar Gujarat for 15 days and at both the times the then governments had assured him to take-up the matter with concerned authorities.
 
He said it was only after Vinod Pandits 15 day fast unto death protest that the then J&K government headed by Omar Abdullah sent a written assurance to the district collector Porbandar Jayant Sewak through the then Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Aijaz Ahmed Khan on February 13, 2013 appealing Vinod Pandit to end the fast unto death as the J&K government was ‘seized of the issue’ and would hold talks with APMCC.
 
Bharati said that the issue was raised at national and international levels by APMCC for which entire Porbandar remained shut on Sunday February 10, 2013 seeking reopening of the Shardha Temple for which Vinod Pandit observed numerous fast protests. Prominent Kashmir Pandit and Jammu Dogra leaders extended their full and unconditional support to APMCC in this regard and asked the Government of India and J&K Government to take-up the matter with Pakistan to fulfill the demand and ensure early resumption of dialogue for the purpose for facilitating travel for J&K Hindus through Aman Sethu crossing point in Kashmir and Wagah Border for rest of the Hindus. They also warned the elements from desisting in dividing Hindu community for their political reasons adding such elements have always harmed the cause of Hindus.
 
Prominet leaders include Ranchan Pal Singh Chib, president Jammu and Kashmir POJK Refugee Front 1947, 1965, 1971, Pritam Sharma, President J&K Kranti Dal, Advocate Ravinder Raina, President ASKPC, Vinod Pandit Chairman APMCC & Founder Member Save Shardha Committee, Dr TK Bhat Gen Secy ASKPC, King C Bharati, National Spokesperson APMCC, Advocate Arun Kandroo, Gen Secy APMCC, Virendra Kuchroo, Sr Leader-BJP Displaced Cell, Karnail Chand Gen Secy Raghunath Mandir Sewa Samiti and Ved Gandotra, President Freedom Fighters Association.

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JAMMU: Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh today hosted Lohri Milan here. The program was attended by Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, Ministers, MPs, Legislators, Scholars and people from different walks of life.

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  • Governor chairs emergent meeting of Shrine Board

NEW DELHI: Governor N.N.  Vohra, Chairman of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), presided over an emergent meeting of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board today to, inter alia, particularly discuss the implementation of the directions recently passed by National Green Tribunal (NGT) in regard to the conduct of Shri Amarnathji Yatra and to decide the further course of action.

 

The 34th meeting of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board was attended by its members H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan, Dr. (Prof.) Ved Kumari Ghai, Pt. Bhajan Sopori, Shri Vijay Dhar, Ms. Sunita Narain, Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty, Shri D.C. Raina, Prof. Chander Mouli Raina and by Shri Umang Narula, Chief Executive Officer, Bhupinder Kumar, Additional Chief Executive Officer, and other senior officers of the Shrine Board.

The Board deliberated upon the NGT’s directions contained in its orders dated 13th and 14th December, 2017, in the case titled “Gauri Maulekhi Vs State of J&K and Others”. CEO informed the Board about the issues raised before the NGT and the directions passed in regard thereto.  After deliberations, the Board decided to file a Review Petition against the NGT’s directions.

While discussing other important Yatra related issues, particularly the date of commencement and duration of Yatra 2018, keeping in view its foremost concern to safeguard the safety and security of the pilgrims, the Board decided that a 60 days long Yatra would commence on 28th June 2018, on the auspicious day of Jyestha Purnima, as per Hindu Calendar, and, as per continuing tradition, conclude on Shravan Purnima (Raksha Bandhan) on 26th August, 2018.

Considering the carrying capacity of the existing tracks and other available infrastructure in the Yatra area, the Board decided that 7500 Yatris, per day per each of the two routes, excluding Yatris who would travel by helicopters, would be allowed to secure Advance Registration for the pilgrimage.

Board noted the steps taken by CEO for the registration of pilgrims through 437 designated branches of Punjab National Bank, Jammu and Kashmir Bank and YES Bank, located in 32 States and UTs, and directed him to take all required steps to commence Advance Registration of pilgrims w.e.f. from 1st March 2018. Board further directed CEO to repeatedly publicize, through the electronic and print media, and advise the intending Yatris to timely secure the prescribed Compulsory Health Certificates issued by the Doctors/ Hospitals nominated by the State or UTs in which they reside and only thereafter proceed to seek Advance Registration from the nearest located designated Bank which would issue the pilgrim a Yatra Permit which shall be valid for the specified date and route. Board also advised CEO to appeal to all the potential pilgrims to consult their doctors before embarking on the pilgrimage. CEO shall also widely publicize that no person below the age of 13 years and above the age of 75 years shall be permitted to undertake the pilgrimage.

The board directed CEO to take timely steps for ensuring uninterrupted telecom connectivity in the Yatra area during Yatra 2018. Appreciating the important services rendered by the Langar Organizations, the Board looked to their continued support during Yatra 2018.

The board directed CEO to caution all potential pilgrims to particularly take into account the difficult climate and terrain in the high altitude region of the Yatra and prepare themselves fully before embarking on the pilgrimage. As in the past, the awareness campaign would be launched with the cooperation and support of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and CEO shall place all information relating to Yatra on the Board’s Website (www.Shriamarnathjishrine.com).

 

Noting the Chairman’s direction for sustained efforts being made to further improve the facilities to be provided to the pilgrims this year, the Board reviewed the Action Plan drawn up for the conduct of Yatra 2018, particularly the arrangements which are being made for providing medical care, sanitation facilities, installation of the railings at all vulnerable points along each of the two routes, measures being take to preserve the environment of the Yatra area by ensuring removal of garbage in a scientific and environment friendly manner. Chairman directed CEO to ensure that all the arrangements are timely in place well before the commencement of the Yatra 2018.