The right-wing Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) Wednesday threatened "nationwide strike if the J&K government doesn't immediately revoke its decision to impose tax on commercial helicopter services in the State."
In a press statement, VHP Patron DrRamakantDubey strongly criticized the decision and termed it a "kind of 'Jazia' imposed by some tyrant rulers on hapless people in medieval times."
Demanding immediate revocation of the "anti-people decision which has hurt the sentiments of Hindus", Dubey said "there would be a nationwide agitation if the government sticks to its decision."
He said "these pilgrims are already being charged extra money as 'Toll Tax' at Ban Check Post near Nagrota."
"Imposing of levy is certainly an addition to it, and thereby an anti-Hindu action. It is unfortunate that Finance Minister did not bother to consult his junior colleague Pawan Gupta while taking this anti-people decision and it seems certainly a high-level conspiracy behind the decision as Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) has become an eyesore for Government which is eying its income," he Dubey alleged.
Dubey said "this way the Jazia is being imposed on a single community while there is nothing for others. Why tourism sectors like Gandola project of Gulmarg are not being covered under such draconian actions?" he asked.
Earlier, BJP slammed Drabu for his justification to the matter.
"How can few hundred rupees tax on chopper tickets to religious sites improve state's economy?" said BJP's General Secretary Ashok Koul.
"The government's decision will hurt religious aspirations of lakhs of yatris," he said.
BJP's JK Affairs Incharge, Ramesh Arora said the party has taken up the issue with the J&K government.
"We want the government to revoke its decision of imposing tax on chopper services to Hindu pilgrimage sites and we have already conveyed our message to the PDP and the state government," he said.