Sammed Shikharji: Another Jain priest went on hunger strike in protest at Jaipur’s Sanghiji Temple

Two days after priest Sugyeyasagar Maharaj went on hunger strike against a move to declare Jharkhand’s Jain pilgrimage site Sammed Shikharji a tourist destination, another priest went on hunger strike in protest at Jaipur’s Sanghiji Temple.

Until the decision regarding Sammed Shikharji is not withdrawn, I will not eat anything but liquid food.

Rajasthan Jain Sabha Secretary General Manish Baid called the hunger strike a right for priests. “Sammed Shikharji is a place of salvation for them and today in danger.” He said protests against the protests were intensifying across the country.

As Samarthsagar announced the fast, top police officers rushed to the Sanghiji temple to speak with community leaders. “There is no law to stop them. In their religion they have the concept of giving up the body for salvation…they stop eating. They are not protesting or sitting in Darna,” said one police officer.

On Wednesday, Rajasthan Prime Minister Ashok Gehlot spoke with Jharkhand Prime Minister Hemant Soren. He soon convinced him of a solution.

On Tuesday, Parliamentary Leader Sachin Pilot sent a letter to Union Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy on the matter. “The community is deeply hurt by the declaration of Sammed Shikharji as a tourist destination by the Ministry of Tourism. Jains are dissatisfied with the central government’s approach to this religious, emotional and sensitive issue…”

He added that the Jains are agitating for this decision.”…I call on the central government to reconsider its decision to declare Shri Sammed Shikharji as a tourist destination in accordance with public sentiment.”

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