Amritsar, June 21:

The jatha (group) of Sikh pilgrims of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) today departed for Pakistan amid resonance of Khalsa’s jaikaras (Bole So Nihal Sat Sri Akal), to attend congregations regarding death anniversary of Sher-E-Punjab Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

The leadership of this jatha going to Pakistan has been entrusted upon SGPC member S. Gurmeet Singh Booh while another member S. Mithu Singh Kahneke will be its deputy leader.

Before departure of the jatha from SGPC headquarters, following the tradition, the leaders were honoured with Siropaos (robes of honour) by SGPC secretary S. Partap Singh, assistant secretary media S. Kulwinder Singh Ramdas and other officials.

Speaking on this occasion, SGPC secretary S. Partap Singh said that the SGPC had sent applications of 277 pilgrims for visas, of which, the visas of 266 pilgrims were approved and received.

Meanwhile, Sikh jatha leader S. Gurmeet Singh Booh said that he got the fortunate opportunity to lead the jatha with the Guru’s blessing.

“Before attending the barsi (death anniversary) samagam of Maharaja Ranjit Singh at Gurdwara Dera Sahib, Lahore on June 29, the pilgrims of jatha will visit to pay obeisance at birth place of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji at Gurdwara Sri Nankana Sahib, then Gurdwara Sacha Sauda Sahib at Mandi Chuhar Kana, Sheikhupura; Gurdwara Sri Panja Sahib, Hasan Abdal”, said S. Gurmeet Singh.

He said the Sikh jatha will return to India on June 30. He also demanded that the governments should issue a maximum number of visas to the pilgrims willing to go to Pakistan.

While the jatha departed from the SGPC office, those present included assistant secretary S. Gurinder Singh, S. Gurmeet Singh, superintendent S. Malkeet Singh, in-charge Yatra S. Balwinder Singh, S. Gurnam Singh, S. Gurinder Singh, S. Karaj Singh, S. Major Singh and more.