The Jammu and Kashmir government on Monday revoked an order asking Kashmiri Pandits from outside the state to register themselves before visiting temples in the Kashmir Valley, The Hindu reported. The state government has removed a senior official responsible for issuing the directive and ordered an investigation.
Tens of thousands of Kashmiri Pandits visit the state every year to visit the Kheer Bhawani temple in Tulmul, and temples at Tikker in Kupwara, Manzgam in Kulgam and Mattan in Anantnag.
“Migrant Kashmiri Pandits belong to this soil,” said Minister of Relief and Rehabilitation Javaid Mustafa Mir. “They do not need to register for such religious pilgrimages. They do not require any permission from the government. We cannot have them questioned or scrutinised. The order has sent a wrong signal.”
Mir, who said that the officer had made an honest mistake, claimed that he did not know about the notice till the media highlighted it. “While I take full responsibility as the concerned minister, an officer had issued this notice on his own,” he pointed out. “He [the officer] did not inform me or any other officer in the department and there is no need for such a notice.”