Mumbai: Jains to hold protest rally on January 1 against Jharkhand govt's decision to turn pilgrimage centre into ecotourism spot

Shri Mumbai Jain Sangh Sangathan(SMJSS), organiser of the rally said that all sects of Jain will be participating in it and claimed that over a lakh people will turn up for it.

Staff ReporterUpdated: Saturday, December 31, 2022, 08:49 AM IST
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Sammed Shikharji is a Jain pilgrimage centre | Tripadvisor

The Jain community will be holding a 'peace' rally in the city on January 1 as a mark of protest against the Jharkhand government’s decision to turn Shri Sammed Shikharji, one of the foremost Jain pilgrimage centres in the country, into an ecotourism spot and against the desecration of the holy site in Palitana, Gujarat.

Shri Mumbai Jain Sangh Sangathan(SMJSS), organiser of the rally said that all sects of Jain will be participating in it and claimed that over a lakh people will turn up for it. The rally will start from VP Road Police Station and end at August Kranti Maidan.

Palitana is considered a holy place for the Jains because the first Tirthankar is said to have attained Moksha there while Sammed Shikharji is considered one of the holiest pilgrimage places because 20 of the 24 Tirthankaras among other monks attained Moksha there.

"Last month, some mischievous elements broke the steps of the first Jain Tirthankar temple in Palitana. It is a holy site for us. There is sale of illegal wine and alcohol and regular mining going on. We keep complaining but it keeps happening again and again. We want the government to take up the issue and do something about it," said Nitin Vora, one of the team convenors of SMJSS.

He added, "Government takes its own time. We are not agreeable to it. The wa yillegal mining is happening, they will take away the entire mountain from there. It should not happen at all. Forest Department is under the government, so it is up to the government to take up the issue."

Similarly, the eco-tourism in Sammed Shikhar will spoil the sanctity of place, members of the community said.

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