Tribune News Service
Chandigarh/Lahore, Nov 8
The Special Protection Group (SPG) today took over the security arrangements at the Kartarpur corridor checkpost, which would be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Dera Baba Nanak, Gurdaspur, tomorrow.
In fact, security has been beefed up on both sides of the border. The Pakistan authorities have also sanitised the area on their side of the border.
The corridor will connect Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Punjab here with Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur (Pakistan). Before the inauguration, PM Modi will pay obeisance at Ber Sahib Gurdwara in Sultanpur Lodhi. The 8-km route to be taken by him from the helipad to the corridor has been sanitised.
Earlier, Modi was to land near the corridor, but the proposed helipad, considered perilously close to the international border, was not given clearance. The corridor building is only 500 yards from the wire fencing.
Modi will land at Shikhaar around 11am and attend rituals to be organised by the SGPC and a rally by the SAD. Later, he will travel to the ICP for its inauguration.
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh will be among the gathering for the PM’s event being organised by the SAD and the SGPC at the BSF post of Shikhaar Masiahan, 8 km away from the corridor.
The state government has now cancelled its proposed rally, thereby rendering its stage virtually ineffective.
The Centre is sponsoring the visit of 62 NRIs who have been lodged in a five-star hotel in Amritsar.
The BSF is keeping an eye on the movement of Pakistan Rangers across the border through telescopes. The agency has intensified the activity ever since the surfacing of reports that terror camps were located in the area.
On the other side of the border, Sikh diaspora pouring in via Attari-Wagah border and otherwise has set the mood in Lahore on the eve of throwing open of the corridor.
Pakistan official said elaborate security arrangements had been put in place to make the inaugural event a grand success as Pakistan PM Imran Khan and his ministerial colleagues and officials would be present on the occasion.
Giving details about the security arrangements, officials said personnel of elite commandoes, Punjab (Pakistan) police, paramilitary rangers and army personnel have been deployed there.
The inaugural function on the Pakistan side would start at 12 noon local time and end with a langar at 3 pm. The area around the Gurdwara and mausoleum of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in the Walled City of Lahore is currently abuzz with the arrival of pilgrims from across world and India.
Delhi govt offers free pilgrimage
New Delhi: The Delhi Government on Friday took an in-principle decision to offer free pilgrimage to Nankana Sahib Gurdwara in Kartarpur under its flagship ‘Mukhyamantri Tirath Yatra Yojana’. The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. PTI
Pak won’t charge $20 fee on Nov 9 & 12
Lahore: Pakistan will not charge the service fee of $20 from Indian pilgrims visiting the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara on November 9 and 12, foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Friday, ending the confusion over the facilitation charges on the two days. PTI
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