Deletion of 60 names from Pak-bound jatha ruffles SGPC

  • HT Correspondent, Amritsar
  • Updated: Apr 14, 2016 15:36 IST
SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar inaugurates the chhabeel at the Golden Temple complex in Amritsar on Monday. (HT Photo)

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has expressed surprise over the deletion of 60 names from the list of 894 that was sent to the Pakistan High Commission for issuance of visas.

The ‘jatha ‘ of pilgrims will leave by three special trains from Attari on Tuesday. After a 10-day pilgrimage to the shrines of Panja Sahib, Nankana Sahib, Dera Sahib and a few others, the ‘jatha ‘ will return on April 21.

Additional secretary, SGPC, Daljit Singh Bedi said before being sent to the Pakistan High Commission, the list was sent to the Union home ministry. As many as 60 names have been deleted — some by the home ministry and other by the high commission.

“We do not know what yardsticks were adopted for clearing the names. The cancellation of names from the list hurts the religious sentiments of those who have waited for long for undertaking this pilgrimage,” he said.

Makkar to flag off ‘jatha’ today

SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar will flag off the ‘jatha’ of 834 pilgrims from the religious body’s headquarters here. From Attari, the ‘jatha’ will go directly to gurdwara Panja Sahib where the pilgrims will celebrate ‘Baisakhi’ on April 14. Thereafter the pilgrims will also visit the shrines of Nankana Sahib, Dera Sahib in Lahore and other shrines.

Former Pak gurdwara body chief’s portrait to be part of museum

A portrait of Sham Singh, former president of the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC), will be installed at the Central Sikh Museum inside the Golden Temple complex soon. The decision was taken by SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar here on Monday.

“In recognition of his services to the Sikh ‘panth’, we have decided to give him a place of honour,” Makkar said.

A three-member SGPC delegation had returned from Pakistan a few days back after taking part in the ‘bhog’ ceremony of Sham Singh at Nankana Sahib. Sham Singh had passed away on March 27 following a cardiac arrest.

It will be first portrait of a Pakistani national to adorn the walls of the museum alongside the photographs of ‘panthic’ stalwarts like Master Tara Singh, Baba Kharak Singh, Gurcharan Singh Tohra, Sarmukh Singh Chabal and others.

Makkar inaugurates chhabeel at Golden Temple complex

Makkar on Monday inaugurated a ‘chhabeel’ (sweet water kiosk) at the Golden Temple complex. This ‘chhabeel ‘ is located near Manji Sahib Dewan Hall.

There are four other ‘chabeels’ at the shine, but they serve only plain water. The ‘chhabeel’ will be managed and run by Baba Kashmira Singh Bhurewale, who has been doing ‘kar sewa’ of renovating historical buildings of Sikh shrines for a number of years.

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