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Canadian PM’s visit to Anandpur Sahib – Punjab police defied religious code of conduct, annoyed devotees

November 8, 2012 | By

Anandpur Sahib, Punjab (November 08, 2012): Legend has it that in 1569, Emperor Akbar came to Punjab and wanted to meet Guru Amar Das, the third Sikh Guru. While some Sikhs believed special arrangements should be made, the Guru refused to see the Mughal king until the latter par took of langar (shared community meal) with the commoners.

Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal accompanies Canadian PM Stephen Harper and his wife Laureen at Gurdwara Takht Kesgarh Sahib in Anandpur Sahib on November 07, 2012. Times have indeed changed.

According to reports special arrangements for Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s visit to Takhat Sri Kesgarh Sahib, one of the five Takhats of the Sikhs, meant that the common people had to make way for the visiting dignitary, who was accompanied by Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal.

Canadian PM Stephen Harper visit Anandpur Sahib

Punjab police personnel attempted to remove the devotees sitting in front of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib out of the Takhat Sahib. They were reportedly asked to either move out or sit near the walls, to make seating space for the guests from Canada and the leaders who escorted them. A SP level officer was reportedly supervising this conduct of Punjab police.

According to reports some young Sikhs refused to act accordingly and accused the police for causing undue disturbance. There are reports that the police also argued with officials and Sewadars of Sri Takhat Sahib.

There are reports that other than the few already inside, ‘common’ devotees were barred from entering the Takht premises for over an hour.

Canadian PM Stephen Harper at Sri Kesgarh Sahib

While the Punjab police was busy in preventing commoners the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper happily met a Canadian Sikh family that was coincidently visiting Takhat Sahib at that time.

Dressed in gray or black suits, led by Harper and accompanied by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and others from the state’s political elite, the ‘special’ guests gently bowed before Sri Guru Granth Sahib and were endowed with ‘siropas’ (religious robes of honour) by Takhat Sahib Jathedar Giani Tirlochan Singh.

The Sewadars of Takhat Sahib later briefed the Canadian PM about the weapons of Guru Gobind Singh, with hordes of photographers including Canadians capturing the occasion.

The next stop for the Canadian PM was the Khalsa Heritage Complex, which was formally closed down for the public on November 07, 2012.

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