PM’s intervention sought to remove encroachment by Pak Army in PoK’s Sharda Peeth

Srinagar, Dec 2 (UNI) The Save Sharda Committee head has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and two senior ministers seeking their immediate intervention in removing “encroachment” by the Pakistani Army on Sharda Peeth complex in Neelum district in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK)..

The ancient temple of Sharada – a revered site for the Kashmiri Pandit community – is in the Neelam Valley of PoK and right across the Line of Control. The ruins of Sharda Peeth are some 50 km from Teetwal in Kupwara district or 160 km from Muzaffarabad, the capital of PoK. The temple became out of bounds for the people of J&K after the Partition.

The Save Sharada Committee, which took the lead in re-constructing Sharda temple and a Sikh gurdwara at Teetwal in Kupwara district, has been spearheading the campaign to allow Kashmiri Pandit pilgrims access to the temple.

The Save Sharda Committee head Ravinder Pandita wrote to the Prime Minister saying that the Pakistan Army has encroached on the Sharda Peeth and requested him to take up the issue with Islamabad.

“We, at Save Sharda Committee Kashmir, especially the Hindu community of J&K, want to draw your attention to the setting up of a Coffee home by the Pak army and demolition of the boundary wall of our revered Sharda Peeth, amounting to encroachment,” the letter to the PM read.

“Our civil society across LoC frequently pays a visit to this religious and heritage site and while watching the dilipated (dilapidated) condition and poor maintenance of the complex and demolition of the boundary wall, we are feeling anguished & dejected. Moresoever, (after) the recent encroachments of our original revenue area of 73 kanals we hardly guess 10 kanals of land are left free without encroachments.”

Pandita requested the PM to take necessary steps to convey to Pakistan in the strongest terms to ensure proper maintenance of this peeth – the highest seat of learning and one time a university and stop encroachments of the complex.

In March this year, Union Home Minister Amit Shah inaugurated the Maa Sharda temple at Teetwal on the LoC through video conferencing and assured to work for the opening of pilgrimage to Sharda Peeth on the pattern of Kartarpur Corridor in Punjab.

The temple at Teetwal was rebuilt to revive centuries-old pilgrimage to Sharda Peeth temple in PoK.

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