No question of charging facilitation fee from devotees applying online to visit Kartarpur Sahib: Punjab CM

Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], Dec 1 (ANI): The devotees applying online to visit Kartarpur Sahib will not be charged by the Sewa Kendras set up by the state government and those asked to pay any fee should inform the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) directly, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said on Sunday.

Reacting to reports of pilgrims being charged facilitation fee for applying through the online portal at the Sewa Kendras, the Chief Minister said that there was no question of charging the devotees and the application process was totally free of cost.

"If any specific complaint is received by the state government, he would personally ensure strict action against the officials found guilty of such misconduct, which would be a total violation of his government's decision to provide free application service to the devotees," he said.

Asserting that he had been personally opposing the USD 20 fee imposed by the Pakistan government for devotees travelling to the Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib through the Kartarpur Corridor, the Chief Minister said, "The imposition of any fee for such purpose was totally against the religious tenets of Sikhism. In fact, India had never charged pilgrims from any country, including from Pakistan, for visiting and paying obeisance at any religious shrine."

"My government was completely against any deviation from this practice," Singh added.

Underlining that he would take serious note of any violation of guidelines, the Chief Minister said, "The Sewa Kendras had been issued detailed guidelines for facilitating and processing online applications of those desirous of visiting Kartarpur Gurdwara. These guidelines did not include any facilitation fee."

Singh also said that his government was committed to ensuring seamless and hassle-free visit of all devotees keen on making the journey to Kartarpur Sahib. (ANI)