An organisation of Kashmiri Pandits today said the Omar Abdullah Government is duty-bound to ensure passage of Hindu Temples and Shrines Bill in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly and expressed hope that mainstream political leaders in the state will guarantee it.
“The Government and other political parties have expressed to Kashmiri Pandits their total commitment in protection of Hindu shrines and temples of Kashmir. The community is waiting for the politicians to fulfil that duty,” spokesperson of Prem Nath Bhat Memorial Trust, R L Bhat told reporters here.
He said the struggle for transparent and democratic management of the Hindu temples and shrines in the state is a common aspiration of Kashmiri Pandits and that they would not allow individuals or isolated trusts to sabotage the movement.
The movement for the Temple and Shrines Bill is a struggle of Kashmiri Pandits who are concerned about their heritage and faith, Bhat said, adding the Bill will not interfere with the present mode of worship in such temples.
The PNBMT spokesperson said the Hindu shrines must not be treated as “private properties” and cannot be allowed to be sold, mortgaged, or otherwise alienated for private use or to fund private enterprises by anybody.
“The Bill is only to protect religious properties against that misuse and to manage them in an open democratic way by an elected Shrine Board composed of all Hindus of Kashmir including Pandits, Dogras, or Punjabi Hindus living in Kashmir,” Bhat said.