This is the second non secular ceremony in three days on the web site, which the ASI has tagged as a “site of national importance”. The ASI doesn’t allow prayers at a protected web site until it was a functioning place of worship on the time the the physique took cost of it.
A press launch issued by Sinha’s workplace stated he took half in a “navagraha ashatamangalm pooja” on the temple, which was “held in the presence of saints, members of Kashmiri Pandit community and local residents”.
It is unclear if the administration took permission from the ASI for the occasion. The press launch didn’t point out if ASI clearance was obtained for the pooja. ASI officers had been unavailable for remark.
The chief of the group that performed a pooja on May 6 advised The Indian Express they’d not taken permission from the ASI, because it was a Hindu temple and worshippers needs to be allowed to conduct non secular ceremonies and provide prayers.
According to the press launch, the LG “reiterated the government’s commitment to protect and develop ancient sites of cultural and spiritual significance”. He was quoted as saying that the administration was “making dedicated efforts to transform historical spiritual places of J&K into vibrant centres that will guide us on the path of righteousness…”
The monks for the ceremony had been flown in from Kerala, The Indian Express has learnt. As the LG took half within the rituals, a number of of his safety personnel ringed the realm the place the pooja was being held. The web site was was a fortress for many a part of the day.
A contingent of Kashmiri Pandits affiliated to the Panun Kashmir group had been in attendance, as was the previous BJP Assembly member Surinder Ambardar. Kashmir Divisional Commissioner Pandurang Okay Pole, IGP Okay Vijay Kumar, Deputy Commissioner Piyush Singla and different officers accompanied Sinha.
There have been periodic calls for by Hindu teams for opening the temple for worship, however no non secular ceremonies have been beforehand allowed on the web site, though particular person worshippers haven’t been prevented from providing prayers, native sources stated. Mostly, it has been a picnic web site for individuals of the realm.
Since the August 2019 constitutional adjustments to the standing of J&Okay, there have been calls for from Hindu teams, together with the Kashmiri Pandit neighborhood, for restoration of Hindu temples in Kashmir. Mostly the calls for have centred on temples that had been practical till the Nineteen Nineties, when most Kashmiri Pandits fled the Valley within the face of militancy.
Such calls for have elevated over the previous three months, and have been expanded to incorporate protected websites such because the Martand temple. On May 6, a gaggle of over a 100 individuals led by the mahant of a Hindu peeth based mostly in Karauli in Rajasthan, recited the Bhagvad Gita and the Hanuman Chalisa at Martand.
In November 2021, the National Monuments Authority, headed by Tarun Vijay, former editor of the RSS journal Panchajanya and former Rajya Sabha MP, stated in a press release that it was planning to make a bid for the UNESCO World Heritage Site standing for Martand amongst different websites in J&Okay.
Across the nation, non secular worship at protected monuments has been a fraught situation through the years. According to Rule 7 (1) of the 1959 Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Rules, conferences, receptions, social gathering, leisure or conferences can’t be held at a protected monument with out permission in writing from the central authorities. Rule 7 (2) says this shall not apply to any occasion held “in pursuance of a recognised religious usage or custom”. However, each authorities, together with the current authorities, has caught by the follow of not allowing non secular actions or occasions at websites that weren’t “live” locations of worship on the time of being designated as a protected monument by the ASI.
As such, prayers aren’t allowed on the mosque within the precincts of Qutub Minar regardless of calls for by Muslims of the realm. Similarly, non secular worship and rituals are banned within the twelfth century Sidhpur Mahalaya temple in Gujarat’s Pattan district, and at Shore temple in Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu. But they’re allowed at Shri Jagannath Temple in Puri and at Jama Masjid in Delhi as a result of these had been “live” monuments, practical temples on the time the ASI took them over.