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Chief Mahant of Amarnath yatra quits

By Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
September 15, 2006 23:01 IST
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The custodian of the Amarnath yatra has resigned from the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board.

Mahant Deepindra Giri had picked up a row with the SASB chief and Jammu and Kashmir Governor Lt.Gen (Retd) S.K.Sinha over what he said had been 'tampering with the Ice Lingam inside the cave shrine of Amarnath early this year.'

Announcing his resignation in Srinagar on Friday evening, Giri said: "SASB is trying to make the Yatra year round affair by engaging the services of Defence Research and Development Organisation and Indian Institute of Technology experts regarding refrigeration of the Ice Lingam."

"Mahantji has disassociated from this decision of the board because he considers it to be an act against the age old tradition and against the sanctity of the Yatra in the month of 'Shravan' (July-August) only," a spokesman of Giri said.

"In view of these happenings and developments, Mahantji is resigning and disassociating from the membership and the affairs of Shri Amarnath Ji Shrine Board."
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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar