Kashmiri Pandits claim arson at religious property in Srinagar

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By Hitesh Tikoo
Jammu, Dec 16 (IANS) The Rainawari Kashmir Pandit Action Committee (RKPAC) has claimed that the Arya Samaj property in Srinagra’s Motiyar locality was damaged under mysterious circumstances, and is demanding immediate restoration of the property.
The committee, which advocates for issues and concerns related to the temples, religious properties and the Pandit community’s cultural heritage in Rainawari, convened an emergency meeting to express serious concern and shock over the alleged fire that damaged the property between December 12-13.
Expressing great shock and disappointment over the incident, RKPAC President, B.L. Jalali said, ”The incident of the desecration of the KP temples and property is a continuous process being carried out by the land sharks and vested interests after the religious cleansing and genocide of the Kashmiri Pandits in 1990. In Rainawari locality of the Srinagar city, we are witnessing these events regularly.
”Last year, the Shiv Temple located at Karapura Khushki in Rainawari was subjected to vandalism and its property was demolished after illegal encroachment to erase all signs of the Kashmiri Pandit religious heritage. We had submitted a memorandum then to the incumbent advisor to the Governor, K. Vijay Kumar, and no action has been taken till date to restore the temple property to the community by the administration.”
”We appeal to the Lt. Governor to intervene in this incident and order a high level inquiry about this usurpation of Arya Samaj building complex, fire incidents, and book the culprits that are continuing the cultural and religious genocide of the community by vandalising their religious properties”, Jalali added.
The meeting was attended by several RKPAC and Arya Samaj activists in Jammu and Kashmir.
Roshan Lal Kaul, Secretary, Arya Samaj, Rainawari, said, ”The Arya Samaj, Rainawari property that has been subjected to arson was the religio-cultural centre where Yagna and other Vedic ceremonies were conducted as per the Arya Samaj traditions by the Arya Samaj Rainawari property, and the property belongs to it. Any other organisation or individual person has no locus standi on it except Arya Samaj, Rainawari”.
”We appeal to the administration to restore the property to Arya Samaj, Rainawari and vacate the encroachment and deliver the justice in this case,” said Kaul.

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