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Devasthanam Board Row: Chardham Priests Gherao Uttarakhand Minister's Residence

 
Chardham
Dehradun: Intensifying their agitation for the dissolution of the Devasthanam Board, a group of Chardham priests gheraoed the official residence of Uttarakhand Agriculture Minister Subodh Uniyal here on Tuesday.
They also staged a dharna outside the minister"s residence and performed "shirshasana" (headstand) to press their demand for the withdrawal of the Uttarakhand Char Dham Devasthanam Management Act, 2019.Uniyal met the protesters and asked them to wait till November 30, after which a major decision about the board could be taken.Priests of the Chardham -- Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri -- have long been demanding the dissolution of the Devasthanam Board that they see as an encroachment upon their rights.Constituted during the chief ministership of Trivendra Singh Rawat, the board is mandated to run the affairs of 51 temples in Uttarakhand, including the Chardham.Soon after taking over, former chief minister Tirath Singh Rawat announced during Kumbh that the temples will be removed from the board"s control. But he had to step down before he could keep his word.The priests, under the banner of Chardham Teerth Purohit Hak Hakookdhari Mahapanchayat, will also gherao the state assembly during its winter session starting December 7 in Gairsain.
The protesters said they will take out an "Akrosh rally" from the Gandhi Park to the secretariat here on November 27 and observe it as a "black day". The state cabinet had given its nod to the creation of the Devasthanam Board on November 27, 2019.Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami has constituted a high-powered committee to look into the issue and thrash out a solution that is acceptable to all stakeholders. The committee has already submitted its interim report to the state government but Dhami said a decision will be taken after it submits the final report.  —PTI