Never thought will be forced to give up puja, sit on darna: Priests agitating against Devasthanam

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Uttarkashi (Uttarakhand), Jun 23 (PTI) The priests of Gangotri and Yamunotri temples agitating against the Devasthanam Board said on Wednesday they never thought they will give up puja and sit on a dharna.

Priests of the two Himalayan temples have been sitting on an indefinite dharna since Monday demanding that the board be dismantled. They have threatened to launch an aggressive agitation if the panel was not revoked soon.

Before Monday, the priests were performing daily pujas with black bands tied on their arms in protest against the board.

They have always been opposed to the constitution of the Devasthanam Board which, they feel, is an infringement of their rights.

The Uttarakhand Devasthanam Board was constituted during former chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat's tenure through a legislation passed in the state assembly for the management of 51 temples including Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri.

However, soon after his successor Tirath Singh Rawat took charge he had hinted at reconsidering the decision and remove all the 51 temples from its ambit by taking all stakeholders into confidence.

Those sitting on the dharna at Gangotri included Arun Semwal, Subhash Semwal, Deepak Semwal and Harish Semwal.

Lakhan Uniyal, Anirudh Uniyal, Vijay Uniyal, Kapil Uniyal and Vishalmani Uniyal were among those staging the dharna at Yamunotri. PTI COR ALM TIR TIR

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