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Jain Community Hold Protest At India Gate Over Declaration Of Sammed Shikharji As Tourist Spot

On Sunday, a sizable nationwide demonstration by members of the Jain community was conducted in opposition to the Hemant Soren-led Jharkhand government’s proposal to designate Sammed Shikharji as a tourism destination. For Jains, Sammed Shikharji in Jharkhand’s Parasnath Hills is a revered destination for pilgrimage. The Jain sect staged a sizable protest on Sunday at Delhi’s India Gate, which attracts tourists on January 1.

After the Jharkhand government announced Sammed Shikharji as a tourist destination, the controversy around the shrine has been escalating for weeks.

Madhya Pradesh’s Jain community protested the choice earlier by taking to the streets. Former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh Kamal Nath wrote to PM Modi and chief minister of Jharkhand Hemant Soren pleading with him to change his mind.

Twenty of the 24 Tirthankars (spiritual leaders of the Jain religion) are thought to have found salvation at Sammed Shikharji.

In a statement opposing the state government’s choice, the Vishva Hindu Parishad stated that the VHP is committed to preserving the reverence of all Indian holy sites.

The VHP stated in its statement that the area should be designated a holy area and that there shouldn’t be any meat- and drug-related tourism activities.

“In order for the development of Siddha Kshetra Parshwanath mountain and all other pilgrimage sites there to be in accordance with the followers’ beliefs, the Ministry of Pilgrimage needs to be established in Jharkhand as soon as possible. The relevant notifications should be amended as needed to prevent the development of Siddha Parshwanath Mountain and Tirtharaj Sammed Peak as tourist destinations “the VHP declaration said.

According to reports, a Jain temple in Gujarat was vandalised on December 16, 2022. The nation-wide demonstration on Sunday also opposed that vandalism. Asaduddin Owaisi, the leader of AIMIM, endorsed the demonstration and demanded that the Jharkhand government reverse its decision.

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