Sammed Shikharji UPDATE: Amid the Jharkhand government's decision to declare 'sacred' Shri Sammed Shikharji a tourist place, members of the Jain community on Wednesday (January 11) organised a rally from Feelkhana Jain Temple to the Collector's office in Telangana, according to sources.
"This (Shri Sammed Shikharji) is a sacred place for us and not a source of entertainment. We demand that the (Jharkhand) government remove the tag of a 'tourist site'. For this, we will hold rallies in different cities to get our temple back," said Harsha Jain, a protestor.
There has been a wave of protests against the Hemant Soren government in Jharkhand, which has been accused of turning a sacred Jain site into a tourist attraction. Shri Sammed Shikharji, is a sacred Jain pilgrimage site located on Parasnath Hills in Jharkhand.
It was recently declared as a tourist spot by the Jharkhand government. "We (Jains) are a peaceful community. We demand that the Jharkhand government give our temple back as it represents our values and principles," said another protestor at the rally.
The protesters claimed that the state government's move would disrupt the sanctity of the place. "Sammed Shikhar is the most ancient and sacred pilgrimage for the Jain community where 20 teaching gods out of the 24 attained salvation. Even today, we go there in clean clothes and bare feet," said Arihant Jain, Shri Digamber Jain Samaj.
Recently, Jain seer Muni Sugyeya Sagar, who was on a hunger strike against the Jharkhand government's decision, passed away in Rajasthan. Several members of the Jain community blamed the Jharkhand government for his death. Several protests have been staged across the country, including Mumbai, Aligarh, and Delhi.
(With ANI inputs)