Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh Tuesday once again urged the central and the Maharashtra government to allow the Sikh pilgrims stranded at Gurdwara Nanded Sahib to return to Punjab.
Amarinder wrote a letter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah after his Maharashtra counterpart Uddhav Thackeray said permission would be needed from the central government for the return of the stranded pilgrims in view of the nationwide lockdown, a government statement said.
Amarinder then wrote to Shah, urging him to allow the return pilgrims to return to Punjab by bus.
In his letter, Amarinder Singh said he had already spoken to his Maharashtra counterpart as a follow-up to his earlier letter of March 25. He also apprised Shah that the stranded pilgrims, mostly belonging to farming families, were extremely anxious to return to Punjab in view of the harvesting season, which commenced in the state from April 15.
The Chief Minister assured the Union Minister that all the pilgrims would, on their arrival in Punjab, be screened and quarantined as per the Government of India’s health protocol.
AAP seeks PM’s intervention
Earlier, the Aam Aadmi Party leader Harpal Singh Cheema wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to secure immediate and safe return of the pilgrims and their families stuck at the historic shrine.
In the letter, Cheema said that some 4,000 pilgrims were lodged in 1000 rooms in five hostels, which was a mockery of social distancing norms. The letter further said that a majority of the pilgrims were the elderly, women and children who were subjected to a host of problems. The AAP leader added that some of the pilgrims were on medicines and had run short of stock, while students were deprived of their studies currently being imparted online. The farmers, in the group, he said were desperate to return to their homes where their crop has already been partially destroyed by the unseasonal rains.