Amritsar, June 17: A group (jatha) of Sikh pilgrims who were on their way to visit Pakistan to mark death anniversary of 19th-century Sikh ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh were denied permission by Pakistan citing the pandemic, the SGPC said.
The Sikh pilgrims who visit Gurdwara Sri Dehra Sahib in Lahore every year were denied permission to travel to Pakistan due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) media assistant secretary Kulwinder Singh Ramdas said
, "The Yatra Department of SGPC had a telephonic talk with Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee's president Satwant Singh, who informed that due to the Covid-19 situation, the jatha of Indian Sikh pilgrims going to Pakistan to observe the death anniversary of Sher-e-Punjab Maharaja Ranjit Singh has not been given permission by the Pakistan government.
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He said the 'jatha' was scheduled to leave for Pakistan on June 21 and was to return to India on June 30 after observing the death anniversary of the Sikh ruler on June 29. The SGPC has urged pilgrims, who had submitted their passports to its office for going to Pakistan to observe Maharaja Ranjit Singh's death anniversary, to collect their documents from its Yatra Department.
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On the other hand, Maharaja Ranjit Singh was the leader of the Sikh empire, which ruled the northwest Indian subcontinent in the early half of the 19th century.