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Terror fear keeps Sikh pilgrims off Baisakhi celebrations in Pak

      Lahore: The recent spate of terror attacks in Pakistan has triggered fear among Sikhs pilgrims, which was evident from the sharp decline in the number of people arriving at the Wagah border ahead of the Baisakhi festival. Unlike previous years when almost three to four thousand Sikh pilgrims used to visit the Panja Sahib Gurdwara in Hasanabdal, and the Nankana Sahib to celebrate the Baisakhi festival, only 284 people reached Wagah station by the two special trains, The News reported. Though the Indian Government has not issued any traveling restrictions, pilgrims fear they could be targeted by terrorists. "Some hidden elements want to disrupt peace between India and Pakistan. Our government has urged pilgrims to visit Pakistan without any fear," said a pilgrim, Baljit Singh. "Indian pilgrims are afraid of the situation in Pakistan and that is why few of them have come to attend the festival," said another pilgrim Hirdit Singh. Heavy security arrangements were made to receive the Indian pilgrims at the Wagah station. Rangers were seen patrolling in the border area and CCTV cameras and metal detectors have also been installed at important locations to keep a watch on any suspicious activity.
-Apr 12, 2009


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