Srinagar: Questioning the proprietary claim of Kashmiri Pandits over temples in Kashmir, a trust headed by senior Congress leader Karan Singh on Wednesday asked the community to abandon the “negative and hostile attitude” and support the various Hindu trusts functioning in the Valley.
“It is most unfortunate that a section of the Kashmiri Pandit community has once again raised the bogey of Hindu shrines in the Valley…The shrines located in Kashmir can by no stretch of the imagination be considered the property of Kashmiri Pandits,” President, Jammu and Kashmir Dharmarth Trust, Major General (Retd) R S Jamwal said in a statement here.
He said after the exodus the Kashmiri Pandit community represented a minuscule minority in the Valley and it was the Dharmarth Trust that fulfilled the responsibility of managing these great shrines.
“After 1990, the Kashmiri Pandit community virtually disappeared from the Valley, and it is to the credit of the Dharmarth Trust that they ensured that every temple under their management remained safe and operative during this period,” he said, adding “The shrines are visited by lakhs of Hindus from around the country and abroad.”
He said the distinction being made between Kashmiri Hindus and other Hindus is “pernicious and unconstitutional”.
Jamwal said Kashmiri Pandits have neither the organisation nor the resources to manage these temples.
“The Dharmarth Trust as well as other Hindu trusts in the Valley, including the Sanatan Dharam Sabha, the Arya Samaj, the Srichand Chinar, the Adi Guzar and the Dashnami Akhada are functioning efficiently and effectively.
“The experience of the shrines actually managed by the Kashmiri Pandit community, with rare exceptions, has been disastrous. We urge that they abandon this negative and hostile attitude and in fact support the various Hindu trusts that are functioning in the Valley,” he said.