M A I N   N E W S

Shaheedi Samagam begins at Chamkaur Sahib
Kiran Deep
Tribune News Service

Chamkaur Sahib, December 19
About 50,000 devotees from all over the country and also from abroad today paid their obeisance at Gurdwara Katalgarh Sahib on the first day of Shaheedi Samagam which began here to commemorate the 300th years of martyrdom of Sahibzadas of Guru Gobind Singh.

Usually a small, sleepy town, Chamkaur Sahib, for the first time came alive with activity. The entire town was decorated with saffron colour banners, flags and hoarding, representing the Khalsa panth.

The five historical gurdwaras, Katalgarh Sahib, Ghari Sahib, Damdama Sahib, Tari Sahib and Ranjitgarh Sahib, were given a fresh look. The SGPC tent was given the shape of a gurdwara.

The samagam began with path and kirtan at Gurdwara Katalgarh Sahib in the early morning. Guru Granth Sahib was installed at the gurdwara and also at the SGPC tent afterwards.

Among politicians, former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, SGPC President Bibi Jagir Kaur, Mr Sukhbir Badal, former Central minister Partap Singh Rudy and MP from Rajasthan Manvinder Singh, were among the firsts to pay their obeisance at the gurdwara. The movement of the devotees was restricted to make way for the politicians.

Thousands of devotees, on trucks, buses, motor cycles and cars, continued to visit the town throughout the day. There was a great rush in the town and a long row of devotees was seen outside gurdwara even in the late afternoon.

A nagar kirtan by Nihang Sikhs on horses, carrying the traditional weapons, was the main attraction of the day. Sports events, including kabbadi, gymnastic, volleyball and martial arts, organised by the SGPC, kept the devotees on the thrall.

However, traffic jams on the roads continued for the entire day as the police failed to regulate the flow of vehicles.

Most of the vehicles were without special passes, which were required to enter the area. This happened despite the strength of 3,000 security persons deployed there to maintain law and order situation. 

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