Gujarat Government To Form Task Force To Address Protesting Jain Community's Demands

The Jain community has held over 85 rallies in different parts of Gujarat since the ‘charan paduka’ was vandalised at a Jain temple on November 26.

Jain community protest in Ahmedabad

The Gujarat government on Tuesday said it will form a task force to address the issues raised by protesting Jain community. 

The Jain community has been protesting in Gujarat over the vandalism at a Jain temple at Rohishala in Shetrunjaya Hills. 

On November 26, the the ancient 'Charan Paduka' at a temple at Rohishala in Shetrunjaya Hills was vandalised. Later on December 16, CCTV cameras at the site were damaged.

In the wake of protests, Gujarat MInister of State for Home Harsh Sanghavi on Tuesday said the state government will form a task force to deal with the grievances of the Jain community regarding alleged illegal activities in the Shetrunjaya Hills area in Bhavnagar district.

"The Chief Minister (Bhupendra Patel) today took a decision to form a task force which will take action after thoroughly studying the issues," said Sanghavi.

A police chowky (outpost) will be set up at Shetrunjaya Hills and a police sub-inspector will be in charge there, said Sanghavi. 

Sanghavi further said that one person has been arrested in the case cited above. 

Jain organisations have held rallies in Bhavnagar, Ahmedabad, Surat and even Mumbai demanding action against "illegal activities" in the area which is home to more than 800 Jain temples.

Illegal mining and liquor sale are taking place in the area, desecrating the holy site, they have alleged.

Illegal mining should be stopped and encroachments in the area should be removed, Jain leaders have demanded.

The announcement by the Gujarat government has come at a time when the Jain community is protesting regarding the designation of Shri Sammed Shikharji in Giridih District as a tourist place in Jharkhand

Outlook earlier reported, "Members of the community have held more than 85 rallies in different parts of the state ever since the "charan paduka" of a Jain saint was vandalised at a temple on the hills on November 26 last year, the secretary of a Jain trust in Ahmedabad said."

Widespread protests have also taken place over the designation of Jain holy site in Jharkhand as a tourist place.

Outlook earlier noted, “Shikarji, the holy place located on Parasnath Hills, which is the highest mountain in Jharkhand state, is important for both Digambara and Svetambara sects as 20 out of 24 Jain Tirthankaras along with monks attained moksha in the place.

“Protests have been observed across Mysuru, Karnataka and Jharkhand and a letter campaign is planned to be launched, written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi where the community would urge the top leader to not convert the place into a tourism spot.”

(With PTI inputs)