KPs want all temples under the purview of proposed Bill

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Threaten nationwide stir, fast-unto-death is Bill diluted

JAMMU: Various committees of temples and shrines of Kashmir Valley have asked the government to re-draft and introduce a fresh Kashmiri Hindu Shrines and Religious Places (Management and Regulation) Bill during the next session of the Assembly without any dilution by including each and every temple from Jawahar Tunnel to Uri under the purview of the proposed bill.

“If the government keeps any temple away from the purview of the Bill, no management committee will allow temples to be taken over by the proposed Board,” a statement issued by the Apex Body of Kashmiri Pandits, All Parties Migrants Coordination Committee (APMCC) said.

“Stake holders will launch a nationwide agitation to expose the double standards of the government.”

With the government having allowed the Bill to lapse in the last session, the Committee sought adding up of a fresh bill with all amendments proposed by the temple committees to be drafted in consultation with all the stakeholders.

Reminding the government of its two-phase fast-unto-death at Jammu and Porbandar, Chairman and King Bharati, National Spokesperson, Vinod Pandit warned the government of another agitation if the Bill was diluted in any form.

King Bharati said that the like minded Hindu organizations of Kashmir and Jammu are one on this front adding government must remember the resolution of the actual ground level working management committees in which it was c

Major points of the Resolution passed by the representatives of Management Committees

1. That the government must take into confidence the Temple Management Committees working on actual ground in Kashmir Valley before incorporating any amendments in the proposed Kashmiri Hindu Shrines and Religious Places (Management and Regulation) Bill, pending with Select Committee of the State Legislature.

2. That all Temples, Shrines, Holy Hillocks, Holy Springs, Holy Places etc from Jawahar Tunnel to Uri and Ladakh region should be brought under the purview of the Kashmiri Hindu Shrines and Religious Places (Management and Regulation) Bill

3. That the Temple Management Committees working on actual ground at present and for the past 23 years of militancy, who have managed, repaired, renovated and maintained the temples and shrines should be the first management committees of the respective temples answerable to the proposed Temple Management Committees.

4. That the Management Committees working on ground are ready to handover the temples under their control to the proposed Temple Board under one condition that all temples, Maths and temples managed by various trusts are also brought under the purview of the Bill.

5. That the constitution of the proposed Board should start from the level of each elected temple management committee till state level and not from district level as that will not only hamper the development of individual temples but also compromise on the unique traditions of rituals, festivities and other daily routine of individual temples.

6. That the   existing temple management committee’s should have the voting right to elect the members of the Board

7. That a clause be added to the Temple Bill to declare all encroachments effected since 1990 as null and void and the Board must have absolute powers to immediately remove any encroachments of the religious places since 1990 without having to wait for government sanction.

8. That no government intervention should be there in the religious affairs of the Kashmiri Hindu community and the Chairman and all other members of the Board must be elected by the community; within the Kashmiri Hindu community only with only one Kashmiri Hindu as nominated ex-officio member of the government.

9. That only the people with proven track record of religious social work should be eligible to contest elections to be the members of the board.

10. That Temple management committee should be authorized to spend funds for the development of the temple without having to confront red-tapism of the government.

11. That a provision to divert funds from rich temples for the development of small temples be incorporated in the bill by creating a central pool of funds where every small temple must also  contribute atleast 10% of its earnings towards the central pool for uniform development.

12. That the legislation must be clear to maintain and uphold the unique rituals, traditions, festivities and customs according to individual temple and people doing rituals according to traditions should be allowed to continue to perform the rituals in the respective temples.

13. That any temple management Committee, Trust, Muth organization thus constituted should not have more than one temple under its control, whatsoever be the circumstances.

14. That the Board members must identify and elect the temple /shrine management committee where there is no existing committee or any Kashmiri Hindu population around.

15. That margats (Hindu Cremation Grounds) should also be added to the Bill besides other places of worship under definitions of shrines in the Bill.

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