The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) today termed the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) order, prohibiting religious offerings beyond the entry point of the Amarnath cave shrine, a “Tughlaki fatwa” (whimsical whip) and said Hindus were not responsible for every ecological problem on earth. “We appeal to the Government of India to stop hurting the Hindu religious sentiments all the time for one or the other reason and to get the NGT to withdraw such a Tughlaki fatwa at once,” VHP international president Pravin Togadia said. The NGT today declared the holy cave a “silence zone” and prohibited religious offerings beyond its entry point. It also said that declaring the area around the cave shrine a “silence zone” would help prevent avalanches and maintain its pristine nature.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said the Amarnath Shrine Board should ensure that proper infrastructural facilities were provided to the pilgrims, so that they were not deprived of a clear “darshan”, and that the ecology of the area was maintained. The Amarnath cave shrine, located at an altitude of 12,756 feet in the south Kashmir Himalayas, is considered a holy place by Hindus. The cave is covered with snow for the better part of the year, except for a short period in the summer, when it is open for pilgrims.