Bandipora, Kashmir : Kashmiri Muslims of Sumbal area of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district re-opened “Nandkishore Temple”- closed since almost three decades, in an attempt to welcome their migrated Hindu brethren to return to Valley.
“Nandkishore Temple” was reopened after twenty seven years to celebrate Hindu festival ‘Maha Shivratri’ and to send a message to Kashmiri Pandits (KPs) to come back and live among them.
The temple was closed after Kashmiri Pandits migrated from the valley in 1990, On this Maha Shivratri occasion hundreds of locals gathered and took up cleanliness works in and around the temple in order to send peaceful message to KP’s.
Hundreds of Kashmiri muslims gathered around temple and prayed for peace and communal harmony in the State. People present said that kashmir is not Kashmir without kashmiri Pandits.
“We all are here to send a peace message and request Kashmiri Pandits to return to their homes. Before 1990’s we used to share eachother’s joys and sorrows. We were taught by Pandits and were always there for each other in times of need and lived together as one happy family,” a local Muslim Mohammad Sultan said.
“I remember, We used to share fried fishes,walnuts during this festivals. We are incomplete without our Hindu brothers, and they should return and live with us like we used to live,” Mr Sultan said.
Farooq Ahmad, another local who was present at cleaning drive said, Kashmiri Pandits are part and parcel of the Kashmiri society and we welcome them.“They are welcome to return to their villages and homes in Kashmir. They are part of this Kashmir garden and we want them to come back and let this garden shine like it used to, before 1990’s,” Farooq said.
“Since they are not here we came here in the temple and cleaned like they used to do and tried our best to celebrate the festival with the aim of sending message to them to return back this paradise that is incomplete without them,”Farooq said.
A rally was carried out from Sumbal colony to Nandkishore Temple by scores of Kashmiri Muslims, holding placards in hands. Some of the placards read, “Let’s celebrate next Herath (MahaShivratari) together,” another placard reads
“We all have suffered, Let’s bring Kashmiris together, ” and
” Kashmiri Pandits return back and Kashmir is incomplete without you.”
Meanwhile, PDP leader and MLC Bandipora Yasir Reshi released Rs 2 lakhs from his Constituency Development Fund for the maintenance of the temple.
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We hope one day Kashmir will return to those days when it was looked as ‘Heaven on Earth’.