Police Foil NGO Bhakts Dachigam ‘Infiltration’ Bid


Srinagar: Barely a day after a top spiritual Guru, presently camping in Kashmir, was denied entry to Dachigam National Park for a “special Puja” on a rock there, his disciples tried to secretly sneak into the eco-fragile area, where the entry is highly restricted.
Official sources said the bhakts belonging to the “international NGO run by their Guru”, again attempted entry into the National Park, which is home to endangered Hangul and other wild animals. But this time the devotees were confronted by police.
Sources said sensing trouble, the police has barricaded the main entrance to the Dachigam National Park.  “There were inputs that they (bhakts) would try to force their entry into the National Park, something which would be difficult to handle  for the wildlife officials, particularly guards at the main gate, so police deployment has been called in,” said an official in the Wildlife department, asking not to be identified.
Witnesses said the bhakts, who were around two dozen in number, requested police that they be allowed to go in for “Puja at Siehpal where centuries ago, a Reshi is believed to have meditated.”  “These days of lunar calendar are auspicious for Puja, kindly let us go in,” witnesses heard the devotees as saying.
The police, however, didn’t buy their pleas. Interestingly, there was no resistance from the devotees. But the story didn’t end there.
After “obediently” leaving the Police Naka, their convoy of cabs drove towards the peripheries of the Park. Witnesses said the devotees alighted the vehicles near a deserted spot and started trekking towards Dachigam.
The villagers, living in the peripheries, got curious about the unusual activity in the restricted area while some of the locals started following the visitors. “We heard them talking on phone to some official presumably inside the Dachigam National Park, who was trying to guide them for alternative entry for Puja,” said a villager.
This was when some villagers raised objections. In the meantime, the Wildlife officials were equally informed about the “infiltration bid.” Finding no way out, sources said, the devotees, got back into their vehicles and drove towards Gupt Ganga.
On June 12, when Mela Kheer Bhawani was being celebrated at Tulmulla in adjoining Ganderbal district, the spiritual Guru had aspired to perform Puja at Dachigam.
But after being denied formal entry by the wildlife protection force, and subsequently by police, his devotees attempted infiltration.
A senior official in the administration while talking to Kashmir Observer termed the situation ‘grim.’ 
“It seems that some forces are hell-bent to ignite controversies. This upcoming Dachigam Yatra row cannot be solved by wildlife department or police, the state government must take up the matter with the concerned who seem to be behind this all,” the official said on the condition of the anonymity.

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