For better management, regulation of shrines

Jammu: Modelled on the lines of Gurdawara Prabandhak Board and Wakf Board, a Kashmiri Hindu Shrine and Religious Places Board will come up in Jammu and Kashmir for better management and regulation of Hindu shrines in the Kashmir Valley.

“Jammu and Kashmir Government has decided to set up a board for management, protection and regulation of Kashmiri Hindu shrines and religious places in the Valley. In this direction the Kashmiri Hindu shrines and religious places (management and regulation) Bill 2009 has been tabled during the Assembly session,” Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs A.R. Rather said here on Tuesday. The Bill seeks to provide for better management, protection, administration and governance of Kashmiri Hindu shrines and religious places and their endowments, including the land and buildings located in the Valley, he said. “A board would come under the provisions of this bill on the lines of Muslim Wakf Board and Gurdawara Prabandak Board which already exists in the State to take care of Muslim and Sikh shrines,” he said.

As many as 103 temples suffered damages and destructions and idols were vandalised during the 20-year-long militancy in the Kashmir valley, besides massive encroachments of religious places and their land. Due to disturbed conditions in the Kashmir valley in the 90’s the majority of Kashmiri Hindus left the Valley and Hindu shrines remained unattended,” the minister said.

“It is a welcome step and we appreciate the government’s move. All encroachments should be removed before setting up of the board,” All Party Migrant Coordination Committee (APMCC) chairman Vinod Pandit said.

The board shall comprise two official members who are nominated by the government and ten other members who will be elected, the Bill stated. -- PTI