Haridwar / Dehradun: The decision to constitute a Chardham Shrine Board has stirred a hornet''s nest in Uttarakhand with the teerth purohits hitting the streets against it and warning that they would intensify their protest if the state government goes ahead with the proposal without taking them into confidence.
The Uttarakhand Cabinet last week gave its nod to set up the board — on the lines of Mata Vaishno Devi and Tirupati Balaji shrine boards — to run the affairs of over 50 famous temples, including the four Himalayan shrines Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri, in the state.
But teerth purohits say constitution of the board will hurt their interests. They burnt effigies of the state government and held protests at various places in the Garhwal region over the last two days.
A delegation of teerth-purohits has met Urban Development Minister and state government spokesman Madan Kaushik to voice their reservations on the issue.
"We have registered our grievances with the state government," said Suresh Semwal, the convener of a representative body of teerth purohits.
Teerth purohits have threatened to intensify their protest if the state government brings a legislation on this matter in the assembly session starting on Dec 4 without taking them into confidence.
Semwal said they have informed the government that they are setting up a committee to "work out the details" of a bigger agitation against the government decision.
"Crushing the rights of teerth purohits cannot be allowed under any circumstance," he added.
The main opposition Congress and the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal have extended their support to the teerth purohits.
"We will give our full backing to teerth purohits," Pradesh Congress Committee president Pritam Singh said.
The Kranti Dal has announced it will hold an agitation on the issue across the state on Dec 4. PTI