Friday, January 27, 2023

Jain community protests declaration of holy site as tourist spot

Staff Reporter

Even as the Centre stayed Jharkhand government’s move to promote tourism at the holy Parasnath hill, the Jain community members of Dimapur staged protest against the declaration of their holy place– Sammed Shikharji on Parasnath hills in Jharkhand– as a tourist spot. The community members also kept their business establishments closed during the day as part of the protest.
Around 150 members including women from the community, who gathered outside Jain temple, Marwari Patti here Friday demanded withdrawal of declaration. Speaking to the media, Shree Digambar Jain Samaj Dimapur president, Om Prakash Sethi said the purpose of the peaceful protest was to deliver a message to the Centre and Jharkhand government to scrap the proposal of transforming the holy place into tourist spot.
He said that if Shri Sammed Shikharji turned into tourist a spot there would be indulgence of alcohol and consumption of non-veg food, which would destroy the sanctity of the “Holy Hill” and would negatively impact religious beliefs of the Jain.
He said that closing of business community by Jain community around Dimapur town was to give information to state government about their stand.
Sethi also informed that the Centre has considered their appeal. However, he said that unless they received any official approval or notification from the government, they would stand unconditionally for the cause. Asked what would be their next move in the event the Centre turned down their appeal, he said the next decision would be taken by entire Jain community of the country.
Jains across the country have been demanding the scrapping of a 2019 Jharkhand government notification designating Parasnath Hills as a tourist place, fearing this would lead to an influx of tourists who may consume non-vegetarian food and liquor at their holy site.

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