Separatists in Kashmir offer to help rebuild temples

5 04 2009

Karachi News.Net
Wednesday 1st April, 2009 (ANI)

Srinagar, Apr 1 : Separatists in Kashmir have offered to help rebuild and renovate temples damaged during the near two decades militancy. asin Malik, chairman of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front Muhammad, said that a committee could be formed for the purpose, stressing that it should be “apolitical”.

“We have asked them to initiate a non-political committee. We will provide them with whatever help they need to renovate the temples. The committee will comprise people related to civil societies, intellectuals, students, Kashmiri pandits and it must be non-political,” Malik said during a visit to a photo exhibition here on the deteriorating state of temples.

Kashmiri Hindus, or Pandits as they are locally called, say that soon after their mass exodus when an armed insurgency broke in 1989, successive State Governments have neglected their places of worship.

With some of the temples burnt by the separatist in early nineties, the rest of these historical temples are in shambles as there are no caretakers.

“It took us two years to collect these photographs. We wanted to show these pictures to the Kashmiri society before approaching the State Government or the Central Government,” said Sanjay Tikoo, President, Pandit Sangharsh Samiti.

More than 300,000 Kashmiri Hindus were earlier present in the state, but now only 3,000 have been left behind.

The Kashmiri Hindus say that there are more than 565 temples in Kashmir valley and some of them are more than 3,000 years old.