Srinagar: Hindu spiritual guru, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, who also is member Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), on Tuesday, defended the board’s decision to curtail the duration of the Amarnath yatra.
“It has come to my notice that some people are creating rumours that the board came under pressure from anti-religious elements to curtail the duration of the Yatra. As a member of the Sri Amarnathji Shrine Board, I would like to say that these allegations are baseless,” Sri Sri said in a statement issued here.
“The date of commencement of the Yatra was determined with a view to ensuring, as far as possible, that the Yatris are not stranded as in the past. Considering the weather pattern during June in the past years, the Shrine Board was not inclined to commence the Yatra before 1st July. However, the Shrine Board decided that the pilgrimage should begin on 29th June 2011 as this day is a Wednesday, Maasa Shivratri, Rohini Nakshatra and Subha Yoga, which is good for the commencement of the holy Yatra,” he added.
As the VHP has already threatened that they would proceed to the Yatra from June 15 only, Sri Sri appealed to the people not to disrupt peace in the state.
“I appeal to all those who are planning to undertake the forthcoming Yatra to start the Yatra on 29th June. 15th June which is Jaisht Poornima day is not a good day for commencement of the Yatra as it is Dwanksha Yoga. I also request people not to be swayed by rumours and not to play into the hands of those who want to disturb the peace and harmony of the region,” he said.
While ridiculing all claims made by "anybody" on the auspiciousness and significance of the yatra, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) president, Dubey asked, " Where were those who claim now to be organizers of the yatra when in 1995-96 militants had issued the threat and the holy mace had to be flown by helicopter to do the ritual".
"This is quite ironical that some immediately spring up with appeals and sloganeering on the holy pilgrimage who otherwise show no concern anywhere throughout," said Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) president who is also founder trustee of BAYN.
Dubey said that whatever BAYN has decided to take out the yatra on June 15 is final and binding and nothing is going to be changed, come what may.
Meanwhile BJP state chief spokesperson & national executive member Jitendra Singh reiterating his warning said that for any unwarranted conflict in the name of ensuing Amarnath Yatra the sole responsibility will lie on Governor and the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) constituted by him.
He said that right from beginning the BJP has been urging the Governor to take "Baba Amarnath and Buda Amarnath (BABA) Yatri Niyas" into confidence in deciding the timing, duration and conduct of Amarnath Yatra but the authorities have shown total disregard for the sentiments of people and arbitrarily curtailed the Yatra period only to appease the diktats of separatist leaders like Syed Ali Shah Geelani.
Expressing worry over the impending confrontation between BABA Yatri Niyas and SASB, Dr. Jitendra Singh refuted one by one each and every argument forwarded by the government to curtail the period of Yatra.
The BJP spokesman however refused to comment on Ravi Shankar's statement, but said any mischief from government to put pressure on the people to misguide them would be bringing Niyas' ire from all over India.