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November 29, 2010

SGPC sends first Sikh jatha to Bangladesh

Amritsar: To ensure the proper maintainance of Sikh shrines in Bangladesh, the Shiromani Gurudwara Parbhandhak Committee (SGPC) on Monday flagged off a Sikh delegation to that country. During this maiden visit, members of the Jatha will celebrate Guru Nanak Dev's 542nd birth anniversary at a Sikh shrine in Dhaka . According to a six-page report, published by the SGPC in 2005, four out of nine gurudwaras have disappeared in Bangladesh and the remaining ones are in poor condition. The report also says the land attached to these gurdwaras has been encroached upon by unscrupulous persons. Avtar Singh Makkar, the President of the SGPC, called on the Government of Bangladesh to allow the “Sambh Sambhal” (care taking) of these shrines. The gurdwaras in Bangladesh were constructed to commemorate the religious journeys of Guru Nanak Dev and Guru Teg Bahadur in 1506-1507 and 1665-67 respectively. Senior members of American Gurdwara Parbhandhak Committee (AGPC) have also visited Sikh shrines in Bangladesh recently and highlighted their concern about their upkeep to the Bangladesh Government. Dr. Pritpal Singh, convener of the AGPC told ANI that the AGPC has conveyed its concerns about Sikh shrines around the world, and particualrly in Bangladesh to the US State Department. The SGPC intends to keep sending Jathas to Bangladesh to ensure that the government takes the initiative to maintain the shrines.

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