Azad lambasted for taking control of Amarnath pilgrimage

June 29th, 2008 - 5:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Jammu, June 29 (IANS) Hindu groups in Jammu held protests Sunday against the Ghulam Nabi Azad government’s decision to take control of the annual Amarnath pilgrimage. As TV channels flashed the news of the state government preparing to take over arrangements of the pilgrimage, activists of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), the Bajrang Dal, and the Panun Kashmir, a group of Kashmiri Hindu migrants, took to the streets and held demonstrations denouncing the government for what they said “dismantling the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB)”.

They raised slogans against Chief Minister Azad and called him a “stooge of Islamic fundamentalists”.

“Azad is a communalist and he has shown he is with the Islamic fundamentalists. He is the communal face of the Congress,” said VHP’s state unit president Rama Kant Dubey.

The government should immediately restore the pilgrimage to the shrine board, he demanded.

Governor N.N. Vohra Sunday wrote to the state government if they can provide logistical support and arrange facilities for the Hindu pilgrims. In response to the letter, Azad said the state government would make all these arrangements.

The Jammu and Kashmir governor is ex-officio chairman of the SASB.

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