Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan landed at Sri Guru Ramdas Airport in Amritsar to a tepid welcome on Wednesday evening, with 100-odd youths waiting for him outside the airport.
After coming out of the airport, Sajjan looked briefly at the youths raising slogans to welcome him before slipping into a vehicle.
Deputy commissioner Amritsar Kamaldeep Singh Sangha was not in the city. Ajnala sub-divisional magistrate Anupreet Kaur was, however, present at the airport at the time of Sajjan’s arrival. The airport falls in Ajnala sub-division.
“Harjit Singh Sajjan was not a state guest. We extend official welcome to only to a state guest. I was out of city today for hearing in a contempt case. I am sure some officials must be present there at airport to look after the arrangements,” said Sangha. “The Canadian embassy arranged vehicles for Sajjan to travel from airport to the Taj Hotel. But police and other security agencies had deployed their vehicles for his security,” Sangha said.
Kaur said, “I was present as duty officer. But the main job was with security agencies. I didn’t present any bouquet to him.”
More than 100 people, mostly youngsters, had reached the airport with Siropas to honour Sajjan. However, their wish couldn’t be met as they were not allowed to go near Sajjan. “We had come here to welcome Sajjan. Security agencies didn’t allow us to go near to him to honour him. But we are proud he has come here. Captain Amarinder Singh has made a big mistake by not extending him welcome. Sajjan has won the hearts of every Punjabi with his humility. But we were disappointed that no one from SGPC came to welcome Sajjan at the airport,” said Papalpreet, a youth leaders.