Barack Obama may visit Golden Temple, Sikhs elated

Written by: Samyuktha
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Barack Obama
Amritsar, Sep 16: A security survey conducted in Amritsar by a special US team has set the Indian media buzzing on the possibility of US President Barack Obama visiting the Golden Temple during his Nov 2010 visit.

"A six-member team had come to Amritsar to conduct recce as President Barack Obama is expected to visit India in November. They inspected various tourist spots, important roads and Sikh shrines in the district today (Wednesday)," KS Pannu, deputy commissioner of police, Amritsar, told a news agency.

The team, which included security personnel and officials of the US embassy, also visited the holy Sikh shrine, Harmandar Sahib, popularly known as the Golden Temple.

"But this is not confirmation that Obama will come to Amritsar. After evaluating various parameters and security arrangements, they will decide the places where the US president will actually go. Now the team has left for Mumbai," Pannu added.

However, with the team members also meeting senior officials of the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC), which manages the Golden Temple and other Sikh shrines in Punjab, the Sikh community in India as well as abroad is almost certain that Obama would pay the famous shrine a visit.

While SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar is already enthusiastic about welcoming Obama, Sikh Diaspora is elated over the proposed visit of US President to Golden Temple.

The American Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (AGPC) told a leading Indian daily, Indian Express, “The visit has brought joy to all Punjabis settled in the US. The visit will send a goodwill message. As he imbibes liberal traditions, the visit would bring him closer to Eastern traditions."

The SGPC, which has categorised Obama's visit as 'VVIP', has preferred to keep the visit low key and did not issue any statement, the newspaper added in a report published on Thursday, Sep 16.

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