Jammu, Sep 5 (PTI) The Congress in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday demanded a high-level probe into alleged attempts by the Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) to grab prime land of an ancient and historic temple in the heart of the city.
It also sought sacking of JMC Mayor Chander Mohan Gupta and registration of an FIR in the case.
The case came to light after Suresh Kumar Sharma, a retired district and sessions judge, recently approached the local court to restrain the BJP-led JMC from “grabbing” the prime piece of land of Panchvaktra Mahadev temple.
Sharma, who was appointed as the caretaker of the temple by the J&K High Court in December 2008, said the JMC has fraudulently claimed that the temple's property belonged to it and subsequently, the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) in joint collaboration with the JMC invited bids for multilevel car parking system and commercial complex at the property of the temple.
“We demand registration of an FIR and a high-level probe into the temple land grabbing case besides sacking of the JMC mayor,” the Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) said.
A group of the party's senior leaders led by vice-president Raman Bhalla visited the temple complex where they staged a sit-in along with Sharma and other members of the temple management.
“The expose has hurt the religious sentiments of the people because Panchvaktra Mahadev temple is the most revered shrine of Jammu province.
“It appears that the BJP leaders, who are managing JMC affairs, have joined hands with influential land-mafia to grab the temple's land in the name of constructing a parking lot,' the party said.
Meanwhile, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) said the matter raised by the caretaker of the historic temple is a very “grave misconduct” and demanded clarification into initiation of tendering process without the consent of the temple management.
“Now that the tender stands withdrawn by the NHIDCL on September 3, it is demanded that NHIDCL and Jammu Development Authority should clarify how they initiated tendering process without taking a formal consent from the temple property caretaker,” Working President of VHP, J&K, Rajesh Gupta said.
He said the caretaker of temple property and devotees associated with the temple are apprehensive of some nefarious plan by some influential people to grab temple land for ulterior motives under the garb of this project.
“VHP stands by their apprehension and warns the authorities from taking up any such move and seeks all details of this project to be made public,” he said. PTI TAS HDA