President Murmu on day-long visit to Amritsar, pays obeisance at Golden Temple

PTI | Amritsar | Updated: 09-03-2023 16:45 IST | Created: 09-03-2023 16:31 IST
President Murmu on day-long visit to Amritsar, pays obeisance at Golden Temple
President Droupadi Murmu (File Photo) Image Credit: ANI
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President Droupadi Murmu paid obeisance at the Golden Temple here on Thursday.

Tight security arrangements were made in the city for the president's day-long visit.

Accompanied by Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) chief Harjinder Singh Dhami, the president paid obeisance at sanctum sanctorum of the Golden Temple and listened to ''kirtan''. She also took ''karah prasad''.

This was her first visit to the city after becoming president.

After paying obeisance, she went to the ''langar hall'' (community kitchen) and visited the area where utensils are washed.

Afterwards, she went to the Information Centre of the Golden Temple where she was presented a robe of honour, a set of Sikh religious books, a replica of the Golden Temple, and a set of woolen shawls.

The president is also scheduled to visit Jallianwala Bagh, Durgiana Temple and Bhagwan Valmiki Ram Tirath Sthal.

During her visit to the Golden Temple, the president was given two memorandums by the SGPC, the apex religious body of the Sikhs, including one pertaining to the release of Sikh political prisoners, its general secretary Gurcharan Singh Grewal said.

The SGPC has been seeking the release of Sikh prisoners who, it claims, continue to be in jails despite completion of their sentences.

On the ''Bandi Singhs'', the SGPC has been demanding the release of Sikh prisoners through democratic means for a long time, Harjinder Singh Dhami said in the memorandum.

''...we feel that by not releasing the Sikh prisoners, they are being discriminated against and their human rights are being violated grossly in the world's largest democracy,'' he said.

''We demand from you to take cognizance of this important issue of release of Sikh prisoners and give necessary directions to the Government of India and concerned State Governments for their release,'' Dhami wrote to the president.

Another memorandum pertained to the setting up of a separate Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee for management of affairs of gurdwaras in Haryana.

Notably, the Supreme Court last year had upheld the constitutional validity of the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara (Management) Act, 2014, under which a separate committee was formed to manage the affairs of gurdwaras in Haryana.

Afterwards, the Haryana government nominated an ad-hoc gurdwara panel in December last year.

''In February 2022, using the police force and administration, the Haryana government's nominated gurdwara panel took illegal possession of the historical Gurdwara Sahibs in the state, which are still notified under the management of SGPC under Section 85 of the Sikh Gurdwaras Act, 1925.

''Nowhere, in its order, the Supreme Court gave liberty to the Haryana government to forcibly take over the management of gurdwaras of the state under SGPC management,'' read the memorandum.

''...we request you to intervene in this matter and instruct the Government of India to ensure that the managements of Gurdwara Sahibs of Haryana state which are still notified under the Sikh Gurdwaras Act, 1925, are returned to the SGPC besides repealing the HSGMC Act, 2014,'' read the memorandum.

Earlier, upon her arrival at the airport here in the afternoon, the president was received by Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Chief Minister Mann, Union Minister Som Prakash, and Congress MP from Amritsar Gurjeet Singh Aujla.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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