Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, December 1
Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Sunday made it clear that devotees applying online to visit Kartarpur Sahib were not being charged by the sewa kendras set up by the state government. He said anyone asked to pay a fee should inform his office directly.
Reacting to reports of pilgrims beings charged some kind of facilitation fee for applying through the online portal at the sewa kendras, the Chief Minister said there was no question of charging the devotees and the application process was totally free of cost.
“If any specific complaint is received by the state government, I will personally ensure strict action against the officials found guilty of such misconduct,” said the Chief Minister.
Pointing out that he had been personally opposing the $20 fee imposed by the Pakistan government for devotees travelling to the historic gurdwara through the Kartarpur corridor, the Chief Minister said the imposition of any fee for such purpose was totally against the religious tenets of Sikhism. In fact, India had never charged pilgrims from any country, including from Pakistan, for visiting and paying obeisance at any religious shrine, he observed, adding that his government was completely against any deviation from this practice.
The sewa kendras, said Captain Amarinder, had been issued detailed guidelines for facilitating and processing online applications of those desirous of visiting the Kartarpur gurdwara. These guidelines did not include any facilitation fee, he said, adding that he would take serious note of any violation of these guidelines.
His government was committed to ensuring seamless and hassle-free visit of all devotees keen on making the journey to Kartarpur Sahib, the “khulle darshan deedar” of which was the aspiration and right of every Sikh, the Chief Minister asserted.
The Kartarpur gurdwara, where Guru Nanak Dev spent the last days of his life, held a special place in the life of every Sikh, and he, like his father and great grandfather before him, would do everything in his power to ensure that the shrine is preserved for Sikhs for centuries, said Captain Amarinder.
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