New Delhi/ Srinagar: Several organisations of Kashmiri Pandits staged a dharna at Jantar Mantar here, alleging that there was a conspiracy to rename the Shankaracharya Hill.
The All Parties Migrants Coordination Committee (APMCC), along with other prominent organisations of Kashmiri Pandits, organised the dharna, where senior BJP leader Tarun Vijay also delivered speech.
Asked about Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s remarks that there was no such proposal to rename the Shankaracharya Hill as ‘Takht-e-Suleiman’, APMCC leader Ravinder Pandita claimed said the reality was different.
“This has hurt the sentiments of Hindus in general and Kashmiri Pandits, in particular. This action has shattered the faith of the community… We seek immediate intervention of the Centre to expose the nefarious designs of state government agencies and departments,” Pandita, who in-charge of APMCC’s Delhi unit, said.
They also raised the issue of early passage of the Temples and Shrines Bill in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly. APMCC chairman Vinod Pandit said, “Temples and shrines are the last social thread of ‘Kashmiriyat’, but the administration has turned a deaf ear towards the issue.”
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Sunday made it clear that there is no proposal to change the name of the Shankaracharya Hill here even as Kashmiri Pandit groups staged protests in New Delhi .
“Let me be as clear as I can – there is NO, repeat NO proposal by the state to change the name of Shankracharaya Hill in Srinagar,” Omar wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter.
Omar said he wanted to stay out of the discussion on the issue as it was based only on “imagination”.
“I had wanted to stay out of this discussion since it was based on the figments of some very active imaginations but no such luck,” he said.
The Chief Minister said he failed to understand why the issue was being raked up as there was no basis to the renaming of the hill, which has a revered Shiva temple on the top.
“From conversations with ASI (Archaeological Survey of India), I have ascertained that there is no such proposal with them either. So I have no idea why the rumour!” he asked.
Omar said the Shankaracharya Hill has been known by parallel names and will be known by these names in future as well.
“There have always been parallel names for Shankracharaya hill and always will be. This isn’t the only place with two or more names,” Omar said.
“So can we please put this unnecessary drama to rest and stop manufacturing an issue where none exists. Call it whatever you like,” he added.
The Chief Minister said there were some real issues, involving consequences of life and death, facing the state over the recent days.
“Recent days have shown that we have real issues to deal with, often with life and death consequences. These imaginary issues don’t help,” he said.