New Delhi: Members of the Jain community, who had been protesting across the country, have called off their agitation after their demands were accepted on Thursday.
The community had been protesting against their prime religious shrine Sammed Shikharji in Jharkhand having been listed as a tourist destination.
Head of Jain shrine Rasiklal Shah said he has met Union Cabinet Minister for Environment Bhupendra Yadav and the issues have been resolved.
According to a report by news agency ANI, Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren wrote a letter to Union Cabinet Minister Bhupendra Yadav regarding maintaining the sanctity of ‘Sammed Shikharji Teerth Kshetra’ and taking appropriate decisions pertaining to the site.
Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate change has issued office of memorandum to Jharkhand government saying that Sammed Shikharji Parvat Kshetra is the world’s most sacred and revered Teerth Sthan of Jain dharma and that the Government recognizes its sanctity and significance for the Jain community as well as the nation at large and reiterates its commitment towards maintaining the same.
It is to be noted that the Sammed Shikharji, atop Parasnath Hill in Girdih district, is considered the biggest pilgrimage site by both the Digambar and Svetambar sects of the Jains.
Every year, thousands of Jains undertake the 27 km long trek of climbing the hills to see the houses of salvation shrines of 20 Tirthankaras.
Meanwhile, the Congress said the BJP wants to “commercialise” the pilgrimage centres of Jainism and accused it of hurting the sentiments of the community.
According to a report by new agency PTI, Congress leader and former Union minister Pradeep Jain Aditya and party spokesperson Pawan Khera said that the BJP wants to “commercialise” the holy pilgrimage centres of Jainism like Sammed Shikharji, Palitana’s Shatrunjaya hills (in Gujarat), Mount Girnar (also in Gujarat) and make them a medium to “fill the state coffers”.
As per the report, the Centre stayed all tourism activities at the Parasnath Hill where ‘Sammed Shikharji’ is located and directed the Jharkhand government to immediately take all steps necessary to protect its sanctity.
Earlier, the protests were stepped up after a Jain seer, Muni Sugyeya Sagar, who was on a hunger strike in Rajasthan’s Jaipur, passed away on Tuesday, according to reports.
Notably, agitation by the Jain community have been held in several cities of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan, besides in Mumbai and at the India Gate in national capital Delhi.