High court orders J&K administration to take care of neglected Hindu shrines in Kashmir | India News – Times of India

SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir high court on Thursday ordered the UT administration to protect Hindu temples left unattended after the community’s exodus from Kashmir valley in the 1990s, in order to help preserve their cultural heritage.
Hearing a petition by a group of Kashmiri Pandits, who expressed concern about the neglected state of Hindu shrines, the high court emphasized the state’s responsibility to safeguard these historical sites.
The court mandated Ganderbal district magistrate to take immediate action to secure and maintain two particular sites, Asthapan Devraj Bharav and Vidhushe temples, citing the J&K Migrant Immovable Property Act that empowers the DM in this regard.
The petitioners, besides mentioning the condition of three shrines in other districts, including one at Sonwar in Srinagar, also brought up the issue of encroachment on Ganderbal district’s sole Hindu cremation ground.
The HC acknowledged the urgency of addressing the matter, and directed the removal of encroachments within eight weeks. It also addressed a disputed lease on one of the shrine properties, declaring it expired and barring any extension.

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