'Pratham puja' at Amarnath on Wednesday | india | Hindustan Times
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'Pratham puja' at Amarnath on Wednesday

The organisers of the Amarnath yatra are expecting Jammu and Kashmir governor NN Vohra to be part of the team that is supposed to perform ‘pratham puja’ (first worship) at the cave shrine on Wednesday.

india Updated: Jun 14, 2011 21:38 IST
Vikram Sharma

The organisers of the Amarnath yatra are expecting Jammu and Kashmir governor NN Vohra to be part of the team that is supposed to perform ‘pratham puja’ (first worship) at the cave shrine on Wednesday.

The names of three members of the team have been finalised. Baba Amarnath Yatra Niyas (BAYN) president Surinder Agarwal and general secretary Karan Singh Charak will be there along with Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) chief executive officer RK Goel.

The team will fly to Amarnath from Srinagar by helicopter.

“(In accordance with) the ritual, governor NN Vohra, who is chairman of the board, should be the first person to perform the ceremony at the holy cave. We are expecting him to lead the four-member team,” said Dhaneshwar Singh Jamwal, BAYN convener.

This year the date of the beginning of the yatra had become controversial. The SASB wanted it to begin on June 29 but the Niyas was insistent on June 15, the Jayesth purnima day (the full moon night of the last day of the month of Jayesth). The public is not enthused.

“Whatsoever agreement has been reached between the board and Niyas for the June 15 symbolic puja holds no relevance now, but it has hurt people's sentiments badly. The case of Jammu’s central university, the BJP’s cross-voting and now the religious tampering of the issues have made people lose faith in the Jammu leadership,” said a retired employee of the state government.

The BAYN is a state-level formation that came into existence only after the 2008 Amarnath imbroglio, when land was allotted to yatris but was taken back under pressure, and is supported by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.

“The need was felt to act as the watchdog of the activities of the administration as well as the SASB regarding the annual pilgrimage of Shri Amarnatah yatra,” said a member of the Niyas.