After 23 years, a group of Kashmiri Pandits prayed at Nandkishor Asthan temple at Seer Jagir area of the volatile Sopore police district, considered a hotbed of Kashmir militancy, hinting at their return and rehabilitation in the Valley soon.
The Kashmiri Pandits prayed at the temple on Saturday and then were guests of their Muslims neighbours for the night, before they returned on Sunday.
According to Maharaj Krishan, an employee in the Public Health Engineering Department in the Valley, some of his relatives, who have migrated to Jammu, wanted to offer prayers at the temple. After talking to local Muslims and taking permission from the administration he made arrangements for their visit.
“Before the onset of militancy, we would sacrifice sheep and distribute its meat among the locals as part of our ritual in the temple, but this time we performed only the hawan,” Krishan said.
Nearly 70 people, including women and children, had come to offer their obeisance at the temple. Of them, 40 were Kashmiri Pandits from different areas in the Valley. After the migration of the Pandits, the temple was occupied by the Army.
Though the temple was never locked, prayers were never performed here for the past two decades.
~ India Today