Angry Char Dham priests issue apocalypse warning

DEHRADUN/NANITAL: Angry at the Char Dham Devsthanam Management Act that the state assembly recently passed and which gives control of around 50 temples including the four Char Dham shrines to the Uttarakhand government, priests of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri have warned pilgrims not to visit the holy sites as they “might witness something worse than the 2013 tragedy”. Seven years ago, massive floods had ravaged the hill state.
The priests' warning came during the annual practice of Char Dham priests travelling across the country to visit devotees when portals of the temples are closed during winter.
The priests have alleged that the state government is playing with peoples faith. On Tuesday, Shiv Prakash, chief priest (rawal) of the Gangotri temple in Uttarkashi, told TOI, “By taking over the temples through this law, the state government is playing with religion and peoples faith. If they dont quash the law, something worse than the 2013 floods will happen.” He has already visited Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Delhi to persuade people to not visit Char Dham shrines this year in protest against the shrine board law. He will be travelling to Assam next.
Rajesh Semwal, another priest from the Gangotri shrine, told TOI that if the state government doesnt retract the law, the priests will boycott temple rituals this year and pilgrims wont be able to offer prayers. “If the priests boycott rituals, the yatra of pilgrims will remain incomplete,” he said, adding that the governments move doesnt send a positive message to pilgrims.
This came even as senior BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy moved the Uttarakhand high court on Tuesday against the newly passed Act. Following this, the HC has given the state government three weeks time to respond to Swamys PIL.
“The division bench of Chief Justice Ramesh RanganaRead More – Source

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