Sikh pilgrims meted out 'garbage' treatment in Pakistan

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Lahore, June 16 : Around 100 Sikh pilgrims got the worst ever treatment when they reached the Badami Bagh railway station in Lahore from Nankana Sahib gurudwara. The train carrying them reportedly stopped off the railway station and they had to get down on garage heaps where several women pilgrims fainted.

Thereafter, on reaching the Gurdwara Dera Sahib, they were told that there were no enough rooms to accommodate all the pilgrims, and some of them had no option but to spend the night under tents, with heavy rains only adding to their woes.

They said that they reached the Badami Bagh Railway Station from Nankana Sahib by train at 11pm on Friday, and that there was no official to receive them. "It was a pitch-black night when the train stopped at the railway station. No government official or prominent Sikh leader was there to receive us," said Sardar Ramdas Singh, a pilgrim from Ludhiana.

Paramjit Singh, another pilgrim, said: "The train stopped off the platform. We landed on a heap of garbage and many women fainted. At least 100 pilgrims, including me, could not get rooms at the gurudwara and were told to stay under tents." Rain added to their misery at night, he said and added that no government official came to their rescue and the Pakistan Sikh Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee (PSGPC) was absent from the scene.

Hargopal Singh, another yatri, demanded: "Shiromani Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee of Amritsar should be allowed to look after gurdwaras in Pakistan."

Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Deputy Administrator Faraz Abbass said that he would write to the Pakistan Railways to receive Sikh pilgrims at the main railway station instead of Badami Bagh. "Sikh pilgrims face a number of problems in Pakistan and ETPB is trying best to solve them," he added.

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