Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Govt to bring Ordinance for protection of temples in Valley

The Government has decided to bring an Ordinance for Constitution of Board for management and protection of Hindu Shrines and Temples in Kashmir Valley.

This assurance was given by Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah during the meeting of Apex Committee on Migrants here today.

The meeting among others was attended by Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Raman Bhalla, MoS Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation Nasir Aslam Wani, Chief Secretary, Madhav Lal, Principal Secretary Finance, Iqbal Khandey, Commissioner Secretary Revenue, B A Runyal, Divisional Commissioner, Dr Pawan Kotwal and Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner, R K Pandita.

Official sources told Jk News that the Chief Minister announced in the Apex Committee meeting that an ordinance regarding the formation of Board for protection and management of Hindu shrines in the Valley will be brought in the next Cabinet meeting.

Omar also agreed to give two years age relaxation to those youth who had applied for job under PM's package in 2008 as the package was implemented in 2010. It was decided that the children born after migration will be taken for Kashmir darshan.

He also agreed in principle the demand regarding enhancement of cash relief and compensation for construction of houses in Valley. He informed the meeting that the issue has already been taken up with Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh and Home Minister, P Chidambaram.

It was also decided that all other Apex level Committee that the members, who abstains from two consecutive meetings will be dismissed from the Apex Committee.

The CM told the Apex Committee that he would himself chair two meetings of the Committee in a year, one each in Jammu and Srinagar, to review the progress and implementation of the decisions taken by the Committee headed by Raman Bhalla.

The meeting lasted four hours and all the issues concerning the displaced people were discussed. The meeting was told that there will be no coercion in return of the migrants and no decision will be taken in haste in view of the past experience, which resulted in Vandhhama and Nadimarg incidents. Out of total 38 Apex Committee members 24 were present while 14 abstained.

The other issues raised by the Apex Committee members included construction of shopping complex at Jagti township for those traders of the community who had their small business establishments in erstwhile camps.

Bhalla described the meeting very fruitful and healthy. He also criticized those Apex Committee members, who boycotted the meeting.

The prominent among the Apex Committee members who attended the meeting included Vijay Bakaya, MLC, Khem Lata Wakhloo, H N Jatu, M L Kaul, Hira Lal Pandita, Sanjay Saraf, R K Bhat, Roshan Lal Raina, Bansi Lal Kaul, M K Yogi, Anil Dhar, Jatin Bhat, Din Mohammed Cheeta, Ashok Hangloo and A K Rajpuri.

Meanwhile, Kashmiri Pandit Sabha representatives including its president Prof A N Sadhu and vice president K K Khosa who are the members of Apex Committee also boycotted its meeting today in protest against the failure of Government to solve the burning issues of displaced Pandits.

A statement issued here by K P Sabha said the community leadership has been pressing hard for the enhancement of cash relief, passage of Shrines and Temples Bill, sincere and timely implementation of PM's package and adequate facilities at the Jagti township. But there has been no encouraging response from the Government, it added.

The statement said in the wake of high market inflation, the meager cash relief is grossly inadequate to enable the displaced families to make both ends meet. Lack of resources adversely affected the education of their children, caused malnutrition and resulted into poor health, threatening the poor growth of young ones. The suffering people are at dharna for last 24 days and the Government is not bothered about this and no attention has been paid so far, it added.

The statement said in spite of repeated pleading, meetings with ministers and Legislators, the Temples and Shrines Bill has not been passed so far resulting into desecration and encroachment of these places. Further, 6000 posts assured in PM's package have not been filled so far and the development work at Jagti township has been put on hold. Under these circumstances attending the meeting of Apex Committee by KP's representatives will be meaningless, the statement added.

The statement said let the Government seriously address to the prime concerns of the community so that the Apex Committee meeting can be held in a meaningful way.

It said for today's meeting no agenda had been circulated and it only showed the casual approach of the Government towards holding such meetings.

It may be recalled that ASKPC chief A N Vaishnavi its general secretary, HL Chatta, Camp leader P L Raina and JKVM senior leader, Dr R L Bhat had also boycotted the meeting. Besides AIKS chief Moti Kaul could not attend the meeting due to his pre-occupation while Congress leader Ashok Bhan also chose to stay away from it. APMCCC president Vinod Pandit had already submitted his resignation from Apex Committee for its non performance.

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