All Parties Migrant Coordination Committee (APMCC), a Kashmiri Pandit organisation on Friday demanded action against those involved in illegal construction on temple trust lands while calling for a probe into the role of authorities for allowing such acts.
"APMCC recently discovered two more encroachment of temple land near Gulberg Colony bypass, Srinagar. Part of the temple trust land measuring around 164 Kannals (eight hectares) has been encroached," APMCC coordinator Amit Raina claimed in a statement.
He alleged that encroachers have constructed multi-storey houses on the land belonging to a temple trust in violation of court orders, which ban any change in the status of the land in view of pending judicial process.
"The locals of the area had complained to the concerned authorities including the Deputy Commissioner Srinagar (Farooq Ahmad Shah) and Srinagar Municipal Corporation authorities several times.
"In spite of the same, there has been no action by the concerned authorities, either against the encroachers or the illegal construction that is going on," Raina alleged.
He said APMCC demanded action against the encroachers and also against the Deputy Commissioner and SMC authorities for deliberately ignoring the complaints and also violating the court order.
Chairman of the APMCC said incidents like these, coupled with laxity by the government officials, highlighted the need for passing the Hindu Temples and Shrines (protection) Bill by the state legislature.
"Such encroachments need to stop and it is time that the government passes the Temple and Shrine Bill, which has been pending for long," Raina said.
He said the delay in passing the bill gives rise to suspicion that the many senior functionaries of the ruling party are hand in glove with the encroachers.
"If the government is serious about the return of Kashmiri Pandits, then all steps necessary to safeguard their religious and social institutions have to be taken," he added.
Deputy Commissioner Shah had ordered an inquiry into the alleged encroachments in August this year, seeking a report within three days. However, no action has been taken so far, he claimed. Shah was not available for comment.