The central government finally had to bow down before the ongoing movement of the Jain community across the country. The government has issued a notification that now neither tourism nor eco-tourism will be allowed at Shri Sammed Shikharji, the holiest place of Jain community in Jharkhand. The central government has formed a committee in Sammed Shikhar case. Also said that the state government should include two members from the Jain community and one member from the local tribal community in the committee. The provisions of Section 3 of the 2019 notification have been stayed by the Centre. Also said that the state should take action on the notification of 2019. Tourism, eco-tourism activities have been banned immediately.
“Government will consider tourism site issue”: Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren on Jain community’s protest to save pilgrimages
Following protests by the Jain community over the issue, the central government has decided to stop all activities on the Parasnath Hills (where Sammed Shikharji is located). Along with this, the state has banned the consumption of alcohol at the site “of religious and cultural importance”. Strict action has also been taken against prohibited activities such as “contaminating” the sites or harming the ecology. The sanctity of the place will be affected.
Earlier today, Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren had written a letter to the Central Government urging it to take appropriate steps on its 2019 notification. He also wrote that the state’s tourism policy of 2021, in which there was a provision for the formation of a management board for better management of this shrine, is also being opposed by the Jain society. It was said in the letter that the state’s tourism The board headed by the secretary will have six non-government members elected by the Jain community. It also states that the community’s opposition was to declare the Parasnath Hills, where the shrine is located, as an eco-tourism area. The letter to the Union environment ministry came after the ministry asked the state to recommend necessary amendments for further necessary action. Barely two hours later, Union Environment Minister Bhupendra Yadav issued a memo saying that ecologically harmful activities should be “stopped” immediately. Union Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy had said in a press conference that “nothing like hurting anyone’s religious sentiments will be done.”
Met Jain community members who have been urging to protect the sanctity of Sammed Shikhar.
Assured them that PM Shri @narendramodi ji’s government is committed to preserving and protecting the rights of Jain community over all their religious sites, including Sammed Shikhar. pic.twitter.com/MrxiB616PE
— Bhupender Yadav (@byadavbjp) January 5, 2023
Sammed Shikharji, located on the Parasnath hill in Giridih district, is considered to be the biggest pilgrimage site of both Digambar and Shwetambar sects of Jains. Jain saint Muni Sugyeya Sagar, who was on hunger strike in Jaipur, Rajasthan, died on the issue of Sammed Shikhar. After that the protest became more intense. Apart from UP, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, demonstrations were also held at India Gate in Mumbai and the national capital Delhi.