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Jain Mahasangh demand Jharkhand govt designate Shri Sammed Shikharji holy place; hand it over to community

Chennai: Tamil Nadu Jain Mahasangh representatives held a protest, in Chennai, today against the decision to declare 'sacred' Shri Sammed Shikharji a tourist place.
"We welcome the centre's decision and demand that the Jharkhand government designate it as a holy place and hand it over to the community," said a Jain Mahasangh representative.
This comes in the backdrop of Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Bhupendra Yadav asking the state to forbid all eco-tourism activities in the Shri Sammed Shikharji area.
The Jain community has been protesting against the Jharkhand government's tourism policy which aimed to develop Shri Sammed Shikharji, in Parasnath hills, as a tourist place.
"Met Jain community members who have been urging to protect the sanctity of Sammed Shikhar. Assured them that PM Shri @narendramodi ji's government is committed to preserving and protecting the rights of Jain community over all their religious sites, including Sammed Shikhar," Tweeted Bhupendra Yadav.
Taking prompt cognizance of the issue, the Ministry has put an immediate stay on implementing Clause 3 of the Eco-Sensitive Zone Notification, which includes tourism and eco-tourism activities.
He further said that the Sammed Shikhar falls in the eco-sensitive zone of Parasnath Wildlife Sanctuary and Topchanchi Wildlife Sanctuary.
"Sammed Shikhar falls in the eco-sensitive zone of Parasnath Wildlife Sanctuary and Topchanchi Wildlife Sanctuary. There is a list of prohibited activities that can't take place in and around the designated eco-sensitive area. Restrictions will be followed in letter and spirit," Tweeted Yadav.
After the Members of the Jain community staged a protest against the decision of the Jharkhand government to declare the Shri Sammed Shikharji a 'tourist' place, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Thursday urged the Centre to take an "appropriate decision" on its August 2019 notification.
Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren wrote to Union Environment, Forest and Climate Change Department Bhupendra Yadav regarding the Shri Sammed Shikharji.
Chief Minister Hemant Soren wrote, keeping in mind the religious sentiments of Jain followers, urging them to take an appropriate decision in the context of notification No. O. 2795 (A) dated August 2, 2019, of the Ministry of Forest, Environment and Climate Change, Government of India.
The Chief Minister in the letter said, "The Parasnath Sammed Shikhar is a world-famous holy and revered pilgrimage site of the Jain community since mythological times."
"According to belief, Nirvana has been attained by 20 Tirthankaras out of a total of 24 Tirthankaras of Jainism at this place. Due to the Jain religious importance of this place, Jain followers from every corner of India and the world come here for pilgrimage," the letter read. (ANI)

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