Env panel chief says Kousarnag Yatra would be disaster

Responding to the allegations of a Pandit group, head of House Committee on Environment and National Conference lawmaker Bashir Ahmad Veeri Tuesday termed the move to start Kousarnag Yatra as ‘religious and cultural aggression,’ saying it will prove to be an environmental disaster.
“We must keep the ecologically fragile environs away from human interference,” Veeri told Greater Kashmir.
He blamed certain elements for communalizing the issue for their vested interests. “Kashmir has a history of communal harmony but certain fanatic elements are fishing into troubled waters and vitiating the atmosphere,” said Veeri. “These elements are whipping up communal passions but Kashmiris won’t tolerate religious and cultural aggression and will foil nefarious designs of these fanatic elements.”
He said that Yatra to Kousrnag and other places with highly sensitive environment can prove disastrous and affect the climate of the state.
Veeri endorsed separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s views on Kausarnag Yatra, saying, “The communal elements are accusing us of speaking the language of separatists. We are raising the issues concerning the people of the state and if separatists including Syed Ali Shah Geelani are concerned about the same what is wrong in it?” he asked.
He said if the government was concerned about the number of pilgrims visiting Gangotri and Kedernath and has put regulations, why are not the same yardsticks being applied on Amarnath Yatra in Kashmir.
All Parties Migrants Coordination Committee (APMCC) had yesterday alleged that the ruling National Conference and its MLC, Bashir Veeri, have triggered unnecessary row over the Kousarnag Yatra with an eye on the upcoming polls in the state.
“We directly blame National Conference leader Bashir Ahmad Veeri, the Omar Abdullah government and mischief mongers among the separatists for triggering unnecessary row over Kousarnag pilgrimage with an eye on the upcoming polls in the state,” APMCC chairman Vinod Pandit had told reporters in Jammu.
Pertinently, APMCC, a group of migrant Pandits, had earlier announced its Yatra calendar in which the Kousarnag Yatra was termed as the “most important religious duty.”

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