Rising number of devotees of Shri Buddha Amarnath has become an eye sore for the radical elements. The repeated attacks are meant to demoralise the devotees
Deepak Zazia from J&K
Two successive attacks on the Yatris (pilgrims) of Shri Buddha Amarnath within a span of just three days has substantiated argument of Hindu leaders that anti-national forces are hell bent to demoralise minorities in twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri in Jammu & Kashmir. First it was grenade attack on pilgrims on August 13 and secondly it was attacked by some radical elements on the devotees on August 16 evening.
Every year number of devotees of Shri Budha Amarnath is increasing and this increasing number of Yatris has become an eye sore for the radical
elements so they are creating trouble to demoralise the devotees.
Leaders of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal pointed finger towards some elements in the administration and anti-national forces which are hell bent to terrorise the pilgrims.
“We had made an appeal to the State administration before the commencement of the yatra that fool proof security be provided to the Budha Amarnath pilgrims but the administration has not taken the issue seriously”, Bajrang Dal national convener Rajesh Pandey and State president VHP Leela Karan Sharma told reporters after August 13 terror attack on pilgrims.
They said that before the commencement of yatra we had pleaded before the administration that the pilgrims be given security this time in view of the mass violence in Valley which was aimed at disrupting the Amarnath yatra.
The Bajrang Dal held nationwide protest against the attacks on pilgrims and failure of administration to provide security to pilgrims, said Pandey, adding in Jammu protests were held at Kacchi Chawni Chowk, Bari Brahmana, Satwari, R S Pura and Kathua where the Pakistan flags were torched by protestors. He also demanded immediate arrest of militants responsible for grenade attack on yatris and stern action be taken against them.
Eighteen persons including nine yatris of Shri Buddha Amarnath pilgrimage were injured, six of them seriously. A suspected militant lobbed grenade at Bagh Deodi near Akhara Temple in the heart of Poonch town, where the yatris had just entered for night halt after reaching there from Jammu, at about 8 pm on August 13.
The grenade was directly targeted at Budha Amarnath pilgrims near Akhara temple, where 1,246 pilgrims had reached from Jammu and other places for night halt before leaving for Buddha Amarnath shrine. The pilgrims had boarded off from buses at Government Degree College Ground in Poonch, about 50 meters short of Bagh Deodi, and trekked to the night shelter set up for them by the administration when a militant threw a grenade targeting the pilgrims and fled away.
Police and para-military personnel carried out searches in the area but the militant responsible for the grenade attack remained untraced. The had
fallen on the stairs of Bagh Deodi. A TATA Sumo, which was returning towards Bus Stand was damaged in the blast. Sources said TATA Sumo contained impact of the grenade, which first hit the vehicle before landing at Bagh Deodi.
The Buddha Amarnath yatra, which had started on August 9, culminated on August 18 along with Shri Amarnath yatra coinciding with the pious occasion of Shravan Purnima and Raksha Bandhan.
On August 16, some miscreants after shouting anti-India slogans had started pelting stones on the vehicles carrying pilgrims of Shri Buddha Amarnath. Over a dozen pilgrims received injuries in the attack which aimed to terrorise the devotees.
Significance of the Cave Shrine
Buddha Amarnath Temple, dedicated to Hindu deity Shiva, is one of the oldest shrines of Jammu region. It is located in the village of Rajpura in tehsil Mandi of Poonch district. The River Pulsata flows by the temple, is considered to be sacred where pilgrims take bath before entering to the temple. A mythological legend is associated with the river and it has been named after Rishi Pulsata, grandfather of Ravana.
Shivlinga of this temple is made up of white stone. Buddha Amarnath shrine is older than the historical cave shrine of Amarnathji in Kashmir. This ancient temple is popularly known for Raksha Bandhan Mela and Chari Mubarak Yatra in which every year thousands of devotees from across India participate.
Buddha Amarnath ¶hattani is an ancient and unique Shiva Temple located in an area well known as ‘Rajpura’ Mandi, nearly 25 kilometers north-east of the Poonch town. It is situated in the Pir Panchal Range of the mountains. The climate of this place is very cool and pleasant. This place is surrounded by two beautiful snow bound hills, lush green trees and left of the river Pulasta.
The Temple of the Buddha Amarnath has been constructed with one big stone. There are four doors in the Temple north, east, west and south sides which indicate that the doors are open for all Varnas. A large number of old and new idols also have been placed inside the Temple premises and Lord Shiva manifested himself in the form of ‘Chakmak’ white stone which is naturally Shiv Lingham.