'No proposal to rename Shankaracharya Hill'

Dismissing the rumours that there was any proposal before Jammu and Kashmir government to change the name of the Lord Shiva temple on Shankaracharya Hill here, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Sunday said the discussion was based on the figments of some very active imaginations.

“Let me be as clear as I can - there is no, repeat no proposal by the state to change the name of Shankracharaya Hill in Srinagar,” Omar tweeted.

He said he wanted to stay out of the discussion on the issue as it was based only on ‘imagination.’

“I had wanted to stay out of this discussion since it was based on the figments of some very active imaginations but no such luck,” he said.

Omar said from conversations with Archaeological Survey of India, “I have ascertained that there is no such proposal with them either so I have no idea why the rumour.”

The Chief Minister said the Shankaracharya Hill has been known by parallel names and will be known by these names in future as well. “There have always been parallel names for Shankracharaya Hill and always will be. This isn't the only place with two or more names,” he said.

“So can we please put this unnecessary drama to rest and stop manufacturing an issue where none exists. Call it whatever you like,” Omar added.

The Chief Minister said there were some real issues, involving consequences of life and death, facing the state over the recent days. “Recent days have shown that we have real issues to deal with, often with life and death consequences. These imaginary issues don't help,” Omar said.

Protest in Delhi

Several organisations of Kashmiri Pandits Sunday staged a dharna at Jantar Mantar in Delhi over the issue of renaming Shankaracharya Hill.

The All Parties Migrants Coordination Committee along with other prominent organisations of Kashmiri Pandits organised the dharna, where senior BJP leader Tarun Vijay also delivered a speech.

On Abdullah’s remarks that there was no such proposal to rename Shankaracharya Hill as ‘Takht-e-Suleiman’, APMCC leader Ravinder Pandita said the reality was different.

“This has hurt the sentiments of Hindus in general and Kashmiri Pandits in particular. This action has shattered the faith of the community. We seek immediate intervention of the centre to expose the nefarious designs of state government agencies and departments,” Pandita, who in-charge of APMCC Delhi unit, said.

They also raised the issue of early passage of the Temples and Shrines Bill in the Jammu and Kashmir assembly.

APMCC chairman Vinod Pandit said, “Temples and shrines are the last social thread of Kashmiriyat, but the administration has turned a deaf ear towards the issue.”

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