New Delhi, August 2, 2014: The traditional pilgrimage to Kausar Naag (known as Kon Sar Naag since ancient times) has been halted due to Kashmir separatists including Hurriyat & others. Kashmiri Pundits have been doing this pilgrimage traditionally even before 1990 violent genocidal attacks by the separatists. In between the pilgrimage was stalled again & again but past 4 yrs it has been underway. J&K Govt had allowed the pilgrims to cross through Aharbal near Srinagar to reach Kausar Naag – the highest altitude Springs pious Lake, which is the biggest of its type. But Kashmir separatists pelted stones & today even called for Srinagar Band. Bowing to their pressure, J&K Govt gave an excuse of environment / pollution & withdrew its decision to allow the pilgrims. Kashmiri Pundits are upset.

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Reacting to these events, VHP International Working President Dr Pravin Togadia said, “In Bharat, many faiths have many pilgrims at various places- some seasonal & some round the yr. Usually the concerned state & the Central Govts make all the necessary arrangements including transportation, special tents, food, special trains & security for these pilgrims. Known examples are: Ajmer Dargah, various Jama Mosques, Hajj, Carnivals & prayers at various Churches in Goa, Keral, TN etc, Kashi Yaatra, 4 Dhaam Yaatra, Gaya, Maha Kumh, Hemkund Sahib yaatra, Amritsar Golden Temple & many such. Kashmir has been since ancient times a place where great ancient temples had been located – Anant Naag Sun Temple, Amarnath, Kheer (Ksheer) Bhavani, Vaishno Devi, Raghunath temple & many more. Its mention is found in Kalhan’s ‘Rajtarangini’ & ancient ‘Neel Mat’. Despite difficulties after 1990 attack of Kashmiri Pundits by the separatists & repeated attempts of harassing / attacking / hurting pilgrims, Hindus have been continuing with the Yaatras.

Yet Kashmir separatists create intentional hurdles during these pilgrimages, be it Amarnath, Vaishno Devi, Kheer Bhavani & now Kausar Naag. It is completely unacceptable. Kashmir belongs to Bharat & every Hindu has every right to visit all Hindu religious / pious places there as per the faith & beliefs of each Hindu. Using meek excuses of pollution etc are ways for the separatists to keep Hindus away from Kashmir & it is undemocratic. If such behaviour of halting pilgrimages spreads all over Bharat, then many other pilgrimages may get affected, which all in Bharat have been facilitating so far.”

Dr Togadia reminded all of the worse ever problem created by the separatists for Amarnath Yaatra in 2008 and how all over Bharat, devotees stood up democratically. After 60 days of agitation, Amarnath Yaatra was allowed but many Hindus lost lives in Jammu.

Dr Togadia appealed the J&K state Govt & the Union Govt to immediately remove all such hurdles posed by the Kashmir separatists in Kausar Naag & all other Yaatras in Kashmir.

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