Yatra Is Part of Kashmir Ethos, Kashmir Politicians Tell LG Sinha

SRINAGAR: In a brief meeting that Lt Governor Manoj Sinha hosted at Raj Bhawan, the Jammu and Kashmir politicians said the Amarnath Yatra has remained part of Kashmir ethos and it is a belief shared by people who were not part of the meeting as well. The meeting was hosted by Sinha at Raj Bhawan Srinagar hours after he flagged off the first batch of Amarnath Yatra from Jammu’s Bhagwati Nagar base camp.

LG Sinha met representatives of political parties & discussed arrangements and management of Amarnath Yatra on June 29,2022

“Met representatives of political parties & discussed arrangements and management of Shri Amarnath Ji Yatra. The sacred pilgrimage strengthens our faith in the goodness of mankind & its successful conduct is the responsibility of every citizen of J&K UT,” Sinha tweeted. “All the senior leaders in the meeting speaking in one voice observed that Shri Amarnath Ji Yatra is like a big festival, a celebration of Kashmiriyat for the common man of J&K and each & every citizen of UT will ensure warm hospitality & comfort of the pilgrims.”

The meeting was announced June 28, evening, barely 24 hours before it was to take place.

Congress leader, G A Mir told reporters that Sinha gave them a detailed presentation about the arrangements that were made for the pilgrimage that is happening after more than two years. “We told him that this has been the tradition of Kashmir to welcome the yatra and the yatris and whenever there was a crisis, they ensured they are helped,” Mir said. “Whether it was rain or snow or anything else, Kashmir people ensured they extend more help even much more than the government could do.” He said the host population has taken the pilgrims on their shoulders to safety in time of crisis and it is nothing new and is part of Kashmir hospitality.

“Almost all the participants said that the yatra has remained and shall remain part of Kashmir ethos and this is something that is the belief of all Kashmiris even those who are not part of this meeting,” one major politician, who told the meeting told Kashmir Life. “The participants said that the efforts should be made to make the pilgrimage as an inclusive exercise as it always has been.”

Another politician who was also part of the meeting said that the administration must made efforts to manage the yatra in such a way that people will feel associated with it and not alienated. They did drop hints about the drastic drives, which are part of the security arrangements and impacting the people. They suggested the review of the traffic police advisory that puts restrictions on the movement on the national highway.

Th meeting was attended by Dr Farooq Abdullah, Syed Altaf Bukhari, Ghulam Ahmad Mir, Ravinder Raina, Muzaffar Shah, Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, Hakim Yasin and Muzaffar Hussain Beig. However, Mehbooba Mufti, Omar Abdullah and Sajjad Lone were not seen in the meeting.

Omar was unwell and could not attend the meeting.

PDP spokesman Suhail Bukhari said it was strange that Raj Bhawan was inviting leaders for a “high tea” meeting at such a sensitive time. “If there were something to be discussed, an agenda should have been set for the meeting,” Bukhari was heard saying in a brief video he posted on social media.

Earlier in the day, reacting to the invitation, Bukhari had tweeted, “For a meeting in the evening that is supposed to be a serious affair, the invitation is sent in the morning. What a mockery! By the way what happened to the outcome of the all parties meeting chaired by @PMOIndia in which @OfficeOfLGJandK and @HMOIndia was also present?”

He also said it was ironic that the security apparatus denied Mehbooba permission to visit her father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s grave in Anantnag district on the same day when the administration was inviting her for the meeting.

One politician said the meeting was purpose-specific and nothing much was discussed beyond the yatra. Mir said for discussing various other issued issues Sinha told them that a new meeting will be convened shortly.

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