In a first, a religious procession will go to Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib via the newly constructed corridor by India and Pakistan.
The Indian government has allowed the procession to take along with it the Guru Granth Sahib. Panj Pyaras, carrying kirpans (swords) and Sikh flag Nishan Sahib, will be leading the procession.
Nirol Seva Sanstha, an NGO, had started the religious procession from Gurdwara Ber Sahib in Sultanpur Lodhi in Punjab on February 21. It will Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan on March 7. The procession will travel through Punjab before reaching its destination.
“We have registered more than 500 devotees for this religious procession. All the devotees will cross over to Pakistan in the form of a religious procession. It will be the first time that a religious procession will cross over to Pakistan via Kartarpur Corridor. We have taken all required permissions from the Government of India,” said Jagdeep Singh Sodhi, head of the Nirol Seva Sanstha.
The Internal Security Division of the Ministry of External Affairs, in its letter dated February 4, stated that the religious procession will be carrying, Guru Granth Sahib, five Kirpans, five Nishan Sahib, a Chaur Sahib and one Palki Sahib.
The Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) had also planned a religious procession from Nankana Sahib in Pakistan to Sultanpur Lodhi in India. However, only Guru Granth Sahib had crossed over the border.
“I held meeting with custom officials at Dera Baba Nanak today. They have already received instructions and they have told me that there will not be any problem. I have also informed the Pakistan Sikh Gurudwara Parbhandak Committee via mail about our visit,” said Jagdeep Singh.
“We have been getting huge response from Sangat on the way. People want to go to Kartarpur Sahib. Many don’t have passport. Others don’t know how to apply. We are hopeful that this religious procession will not only educate people about how to go Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib but also respective governments on how Sikh Sangat be facilitated in a better way to visit the historic gurdwara,” said Jagdeep Singh.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on November 9 last year inaugurated the Kartarpur Corridor that links Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan, the final resting place of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev, to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district of Punjab.
Free bus service for Kartarpur Corridor
The SGPC launched a free bus service from Golden Temple Amritsar to Kartarpur Sahib Corridor on Tuesday.
The bus will leave from Heritage Street Amritsar at around 8 am and return in the evening. Pilgrims will be able to use the bus free of cost.
“Most of the pilgrims stay in Amritsar the night before their scheduled visit to Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib. So this bus will be a good service for the pilgrims,” said SGPC member Bhagwant Singh Sialka.
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