Paswan condemns entry restriction for non-Hindus in Somnath temple

Our Bureau Ahmedabad | Updated on January 24, 2018

Ram Vilas Paswan   -  The Hindu

The Union Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Thursday criticised the move by Shree Somnath Trust (SST) that restricted the entry for non-Hindus to the famous Shiva Temple - Somnath, one of the 12 Jyotirlingas.

Reacting to the news about SST discriminating between the devotees visiting Somnath temple, Paswan said, "It is wrong. You cannot prevent someone from entering temple on the basis of caste or religion. Irrespective of a temple or a Mosque, such discrimination should not take place."

The temple authorities had put up a notice at the gates of the temple asking the non-Hindu visitors to take permission from the Trust authorities before entering the temple, which is located near Veraval in the coastal district of Gir Somnath in Saurashtra region of Gujarat.

The Trust, which has former Gujarat chief minister Keshubhai Patel as its chairman, and former deputy prime minister Lal Krishna Advani and Prime Minister Narendra Modi its trustees, wanted to regulate the flow of non-Hindu visitors.

Three public notices at the main entrance and Digvijay Dwar of medieval-era temple, read in the Gujarati language as, "Shree Somnath Jyotirlinga is a religious place of Hindus. Non-Hindus will be allowed entry for darshan in this pious religious place of worship only after they contact the office of the general manager and get his due permission."

However, the trust authorities claimed that the decision was taken following several complaints from 'Hindu pilgrims about the presence of non-Hindu devotees in the Temple premises.'

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Published on June 04, 2015
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