Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir):
A temple in Srinagar, which closed its doors for devotees 31 years ago due to terrorism and outmigration of Hindus, was reopened on the auspicious occasion of Basant Panchami.
Shital Nath Temple located in the Habba Kadal area of Srinagar reopened on Tuesday. A special ‘pooja’ was also performed by devotees at the temple.
Santosh Razadan, a devotee who came to offer prayers at the temple, said that they received huge support from locals especially those from the Muslim community for the reopening of the temple.
“Shital Nath temple reopened after 31 years. People used to come here before to offer prayers but it was closed due to militancy. Hindus residing near the temple had also left. Locals mostly belonging to the Muslim community helped us,” she told ANI.
Ravinder Razdan, one of the organisers of the pooja conducted at Shital Nath temple, said people from the Muslim community provided much-needed support to us in this initiative and they even came forward to clean the temple.
“Our Mulsim brother and sisters brought pooja items. We used to do this pooja every year. Baba Sheetal Nath Bhairao’s birth anniversary falls on Basant Pachmit that is why we celebrate this day with fervour,” Razdan said.
Terrorist violence cases and stone-pelting incidents have dropped in Jammu and Kashmir following the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019 that gave special status to the erstwhile state. Jammu and Kashmir was also bifurcated into two union territories- Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
On February 8, Union Minister of State Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy had informed Rajya Sabha that the number of terrorist violence cases and stone-pelting incidents in Jammu and Kashmir have reduced drastically in 2020 in comparison to 2019.
“A total of 157 terrorists were neutralised in 2019 and 221 were eliminated in 2020. There were 594 cases of terrorist violence in 2019, which reduced to 244 in 2020. There were 327 stone pelting incidents in 2020 as compared to 2,009 such incidents in 2019,” he had said.