Kashmir set to receive hundreds of Pandits

first_imgKashmir is all set to receive hundreds of migrant Kashmiri Pandits on the occasion of Mela Khir Bhawani, an annual festival, in Ganderbal district in north Kashmir on Friday.Raising slogans Mata Kheer Bhawani Ki Jai, nearly 500 Pandits on 15 buses started their journey from Jammu to Tulmul on Thursday morning.Traditionally, the Pandits perform special prayers on the occasion of the annual holy day of ‘Jyeshtha Ashtami’ at Khir Bhawani temple at Tulmul, 20 kilometre from Srinagar. However, it became a low-key affair after a sizeable population of Pandits left the valley during the tumultuous period of raging militancy in 1989.The festival has also become an occasion of bonhomie between the communities as many Muslims set up flower and food stalls outside the temple for puja.J&K government spokesman Naeem Akhtar, whoo took stock of the arrangement being made at the Kheer Bhawani Shrine, said, “I appeal to the Pandits to visit the shrine en masse to revive the age old brotherhood. Local Muslims too are waiting to welcome their brothers. People need not pay any heed to rumours.”last_img

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