Yudhvir Rana & M Saleem Pandit
[ Sunday, June 18, 2006 12:02:03 amTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]
AMRITSAR/SRINAGAR: The lingam controversy has left the Dharam Prachar Mandal fuming. Ram Mahajan, president of the Hindu body, said his organisation had written a letter to government seeking action against the organisers.
"Those who committed this sin should be punished as they were responsible of hurting our religious sentiments," he said.
Other pilgrims agreed, saying the intentions of the organisers were suspect. "It shows that they are only interested in making money from devotees. That is why they didn't tell the truth fearing cancellation of the yatra by many pilgrims," said a devotee.
Deepak Sharma, an Amritsar resident who returned from Amaranth, said: "This was the most disappointing pilgrimage I have done in my life. No one has the right to do this," Arun Kumar said that the weather has now turned cold in the Pahalgam region and there has been some snowfall.
So, the Shiva lingam in the cave at present was natural. "The man-made lingam has melted. What you see now is the natural one," he said.
Asked how langarwallas got into the shrine and created a lingam — as claimed by the Board — Kumar said members of the Board go to the shrine every now and then but they never felt the need to lock up the Shiva lingam until now.
Earlier the yatra used to start in July and last till Rakhi day in August. For the last few years, the duration has been increased.