Muslims holding makeshift kitchens for stranded Amarnath pilgrims

July 1st, 2008 - 4:51 pm ICT by ANI  

Amarnath Shrine

By Parvez Butt
Srinagar, July 1 (ANI): As various political groups are busy fanning communal passions through protests and violence in Jammu and Kashmir state over 100 acre forest land transfer issue, scores of Muslims are holding Langar (free community kitchen) for the stranded Amaranath pilgrims here.
Thousands of pilgrims, who either have returned from the holy cave Amarnath or were on their way to the cave, were stranded in Srinagar due to the continuous violent protests.
The fraternal gesture by members of the Muslim community here is setting an example of how general public feels for each other especially during crisis irrespective of each others religious faith in the Kashmir valley.
“We are trying to provide them every help we can. At Tanmarg, Balatal Road, we provided them tea, juice and fruits. Here we are providing them food. We are providing them all the facilities that we can as we feel that is a duty of a Muslim. We have started four Langars, two on Baltal, one here and another at Nehru Park. We’ll continue doing it until the prevailing conditions are under control,” said Parvez, one of the volunteers offering free food to stranded pilgrims.
There has been complete shutdown for eight days in the Valley over the Jammu and Kashmir Governments decision to transfer 100 acres (39.88 hectares) of forest land to Sri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) for establishing basic facilities for the Amarnath pilgrims.
On Sunday (June 29), the State government revoked the transfer decision after the SASB voluntarily gave up its demand for transfer of land amidst violent protests by extremists and separatists.
But now Jammu has become the centre of violent protests by other groups protesting revocation of the transfer of land. (ANI)

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