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Protest in Badrinath against 'mismanagement' of Char Dham Yatra

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Devotees arrive at the Shri Badrinath temple after its portals were opened, in Chamoli district, Sunday morning, May 12, 2024

Gopeshwar (U'khand), May 13 (PTI) Priests and locals protested in Uttarakhand's Badrinath on Monday against the alleged mismanagement of the Char Dham Yatra by the district administration, causing inconvenience to people.

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Shops were kept closed at the Himalayan temple in protest and the Panda community and locals hit the streets.

The agitators created a ruckus in support of more than half-a-dozen of their demands, including stopping the VIP "darshan" system in Badrinath, removing barricades from the traditional routes for the locals and the facility of entering the temple as before.

Later, after talks between the agitators and officials of the temple committee, the barricading was removed from the roads.

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Joshimath Sub-Collector Chandrashekhar Vashishth said higher officials have been informed about the other demands of the agitators.

Meanwhile, on the demand of the agitators to stop the VIP "darshan" system, Temple Committee vice-president Kishore Panwar said the system has not been started yet on the instructions of the state government.

Seeing the tremendous enthusiasm of the devotees, the Uttarakhand government has written a letter to the chief secretaries of all the states and Union territories, requesting them not to allow VIPs to come for Char Dham "darshan" for the next 15 days.

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The Char Dham Yatra started on May 10.

Earlier in the day, pilgrims, priests and locals held a protest and kept markets and shops closed for some time, causing inconvenience to the pilgrims in need of essential commodities.

There is anger against the local administration regarding the alleged irregularities in the name of the master plan for Kedarnath and Badrinath.

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Talking to "PTI Bhasha", Parveen Dhyani, who is associated with the Badrinath Teerth Purohit organisation, alleged that the houses of more than a dozen members of the Panda community have been demolished. On the other hand, he said chaos has been created by the temple committee in the name of VIP "darshan" and the main pedestrian route leading to the houses of the locals closed.

However, after the agitation, the administration removed the barricades from the pedestrian paths and also closed the counter for VIP "darshan", Dhyani said.

The residents of Badrinath will hold a meeting on Tuesday to decide the next course of action to get their other demands fulfilled.

The sub-collector said after talks with the agitators, obstructions have been removed from the road leading to Bamani village, while higher officials have been informed of their other demands. PTI COR ALM RC

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