J&K revokes notice seeking details of Kashmiri Pandits visiting Kheer Bhawani

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Srinagar, May 14 (IANS) The Jammu and Kashmir government on Monday revoked its controversial notice which sought the details of Kashmiri Pandits likely to visit their historic temple shrine of Kheer Bhawani on the annual fair.

Under pressure from various quarters for issuing a notice about permanent residents of the Valley who visit their religious place, the state government not only revoked the notice but also ordered an inquiry to find out why the notice was issued at all.

“We have ordered an inquiry into how this notice was issued without the knowledge of any senior officer in the department including the Minister,” Javaid Mustafa Mir, state’s Rehabilitation Minister said.

The minister claimed he had no information about the notice till it was highlighted by the media and that the officer who had issued the notice had been relieved from the department.

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He added that “Kashmiri Pandits are sons of the soil and they do not need any permission to visit their temples and shrines in the Valley”.

“We cannot have them questioned or scrutinized. They can come anytime and need not register. They are our part and we cannot question them on their entry or exit. This is totally unacceptable and I regret it,” the minister added.

The Kheer Bhawani temple shrine located in north Kashmir’s Ganderbal district is the holiest temple for Kashmiri Pandits. Every year in the month of June hundreds of devotees come from different parts of the country to pay their obeisance to the deity at the shrine.

–IANS

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