After 50 Years of Dispute, Construction of Buddhist Monastery Begins in Kargil

Agencies

LADAKH: Setting an example of communal harmony in Ladakh, the Muslim community has welcomed the allotment of land for the construction of a Buddhist monastery in Muslim-dominated Kargil. The land was entangled in a dispute for over five decades.

A “bhumi pujan” (ground-breaking ceremony) was held for the ‘Gompa’ (monastery) in the presence of social and political leaders of the area recently. During his meeting with L-G Brigadier BD Mishra (Retd) on Sunday, Ladakh MP Haji Hanifa Jan said the long-pending demand of the Buddhist community had been fulfilled as land had been provided for the construction of the Gompa at Kurbathang in Kargil.

Hanifa said providing land for the monastery at Kargil demonstrated communal harmony in its true sense.

Muslim leaders, including Mohd Jaffer Akhoon, who is the Chief Executive Councillor of Kargil Hill Council, and Kacho Mohd Feroz, executive councillor of the council, along with Buddhist leaders were present at the ceremony.

Akhoon said the step would take communal harmony further and Buddhist and Muslim communities would not face any hindrance for developmental works in the region. The construction of the Gompa was lingering on for the past five decades as locals were earlier objecting to the construction of a monastery in old town area. However, a decision was taken to allot a land in Kurbathang (new town area) through LAHDC, Kargil, in 2022.

The controversy started when the then government had in 1969 modified the 1961 order regarding the construction of a monastery in Kargil town, stating that a structure only for commercial or residential purpose could be built at the site. Activist Sajjad Kargili said Ladakh’s people had set an example resolving a long-standing issue through negotiation. He urged the Ladakh Buddhist Association to assist in the construction of an Imam Bargah in Zanskar, allocate land for an Eidgah in Leh and support the renovation of the mosque in Bodh Kharbu.

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