Kaunsar Nag yatra generates heat, KBF demands immediate halt

“What if BJP is at the helm; we’ll see how tents are erected.”

KULGAM: Two days after the BJP legislator Ashok Nanda flagged off the lesser-known Kounsar Nag yatra from Reasi, the Kounsar Nag Bachavo Front (KBF) in Kashmir Thursday warned it will launch a Valley wide agitation if the yatra was not suspended.

General Secretary KBF Sajad Noorabadi said that the Front, in an extra ordinary meeting, has constituted a four-member committee that will interact with religious and political leaders including the separatists. “There is no historical background of this yatra. “People having RSS and BJP mindset are hell-bent to pollute the fragile environ of Kashmir Valley,” he said “Kounsar Nag lake has a significant ecological importance as it provides water to half of southern Kashmir’s districts.”

Kashmir’s glaciers, he said, are melting at a fast rate and if Kounsarnag was developed as a pilgrimage spot, the ensuing construction in the area would be disastrous for the ecosystem in Kashmir. 

Local analysts say increased activity has led to a speedier melting of ice, cutting of trees and littering in the region. “We will oppose the yatra and will not allow any yatri to pollute the environment,” he said adding that KBF will take legal course to stop this ‘insignificant’ yatra in Kashmir.   

Another member of the KBF said that they have sought the support from civil society, separatist organizations and common people to oppose this yatra. “So what if BJP is at the helm of affairs,” he said. “We will see how the civil administration will erect tents and sheds in the fragile zone for the yatri’s whose sole motive is to fuel tension in the region.”

Last year the controversial yatra was suspended after the people in Kashmir opposed the move citing what they called “cultural aggression” by India in the region to undermine its Muslim majority demographic. 

To quell the protests, then government had imposed curfew after the separatist had called for a state wide strike.

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