Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan paying reverence at the Harmandir Sahib(Golden Temple) in Amritsar today, even as new SGPC chief Kirpal Singh Badungar received him.
Apparently, to dishearten the involvement of Sikh radical organisations, the minister’s visit was proceed by two hours. However, some of their officers reached the Golden Temple plaza well in advance. They were kept at bay, though there was a scrimmage between them and the SGPC task force after a while.
Sajjan reached the holy shrine shortly after 6am and stay there for an hour, surrounded by a very tight security. He heard to the hymns for more than 20 minutes, also took a parikrama and spent around 15 minutes inside the sanctum sanctorum.
He proposed parshad at the shrine and was honoured with a “Siropa” by the head priest of the shrine Giani Jagtar Singh.
He also paid reverence at Akal Takht, where its Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh welcomed him. As he lead towards tents, specially pitched by the SGPC for his reception, the “Khalisthan sympathisers” raised slogans.
There was a minor scramble between SAD (Amritsar) members and the SGPC task force when they tried to gain access to hand over a memorandum to Sajjan. Jarnail Singh Sakhira, general secretary, SAD (A), claimed to have received marks on his hand.
Sajjan was admired as per maryada by the SGPC president. He was gifted with Siri Sahib, a silver model of the Golden Temple, a specially crafted silver plate and a set of religious books.
SGPC chief Badungar said, “It was a proud moment for the Sikh community to esteem Sajjanji. He has contributed extremely to originate the recognition of Sikhs.”