Save Sharda Committee Kashmir, headed by Ravinder Pandita, has urged the Indian Government to intervene in removing encroachments at Sharda Peeth in Pakistan-occupied Jammu & Kashmir (PoJK). Highlighting the issue of encroachments, particularly the recent erection of a Coffee Home by the Pakistan army within Sharda Peeth premises, the Save Sharda Committee emphasised the persistent challenges despite a Supreme Court judgment in favour of the Committee on January 3, 2023.
Civil society in PoJK has joined the Committee in expressing concern about encroachments and damages to the boundary wall.
Ravinder Pandita, the committee head and founder, reiterated the demand for Sharda Peeth’s reopening, akin to the Kartarpur corridor, as pledged by Home Minister Amit Shah during the inauguration. He warned of a potential LoC march if encroachments, notably the Coffee Home, remain unaddressed by Pakistani authorities.
Save Sharda Committee also called for Sharda Peeth to be declared a UNESCO heritage site, underlining its historical and cultural significance. At a press conference hosted today at the Press Club Bengaluru, the Save Sharda Committee Kashmir unveiled a website dedicated to the Sharda Temple in Teetwal, Kashmir.
The newly launched website aims to serve as a comprehensive guide for pilgrims and tourists, offering information on the recently reconstructed Sharda Temple and Sikh Gurudwara. Inaugurated on March 22, the structures saw live streaming by Home Minister Sh. Amit Shah, LG J&K Sh. Manoj Sinha, MP South Bangalore Tejasvi Surya, and Save Sharda Committee’s Head/Founder Ravinder Pandita. Supported by Dakshinayam Sringeri Mutt, the Sharda Yatra Temple has drawn around 10,000 pilgrims since its inauguration earlier this year.
The Committee has already communicated its concerns to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President PoJK (AJK) through letters dated November 30, 2023. The Civil society of PoJK has also echoed these sentiments in letters addressed to relevant authorities.
Sharada Peeth is considered as one of the three holiest sites of pilgrimage for Kashmiri Pandits, alongside the Martand Sun Temple and the Amarnath Temple.
(with inputs from ANI)