First Time, Sikhs cancel Program Following Baisakhi in Uri, courtesy ‘Govt Apathy’

Riyaz Ul Khaliq


Baisakhi celebrations in Srinagar on April 13, 2016. (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)
Baisakhi celebrations in Srinagar on April 13, 2016. (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)

Sikhs in hilly Uri are celebrating a happy Sunday. This, for the first time in their history, that the programs following Baisakhi festival are not held in Chattipadshahi Gurudwara in Parantilla area.

The minority Sikh Community today said that this happens because “government is not serious about them”.

Locals from Uri told Kashmir Life that every year, on following Sunday of Baisakhi festival, Sikhs hold a program in Chattipadshahi Gurudwara which falls in Parantilla area.

However, this year they could not proceed towards the area because of communication breakdown in the area.

“There was a footbridge which connected Uri town with Parantilla, however, it was washed away by 2014 floods and has not been repaired since then,” a Sikh group from the area said.

Back in 2008, National Hydro Power Company (NHPC) had constructed a bridge in the area but it collapsed on the day load testing was done; 28 people were killed in the incident.

Although there are alternate routes to reach the Gurudwara, local sources said it is difficult to use such an option.

“Either one has to go through an army camp for which special Identity Cards have to be made first or there is another road from Gingal area which is hilly and inaccessible these days,” they said.

Dr Tara Singh, chairperson, Gurudwara Prabandh Committee Baramulla said that they had even sought weather advisory from Kashmir Met Director, Sonum Lotus. “We had thought to go through Gingal road but we were advised against it,” he said, “it is hilly, slippery during rains and prone to landslides.” Western disturbances hit Kashmir and the plains and hilly areas are witnessing rains since early morning today.

Dr Singh rued the government apathy. “It is unfortunate that government is not concerned for our minority group,” he alleged, “the footbridge is hung by wires and wooden planks needed to be installed on it so that it is put to use but nothing was done.”

Dr Singh claimed that it was for the first time in their history that no such program was held in Chattipadshahi Gurudwara in Parantilla. “But we will do something in coming week and will go to the Gurudwara as this is our tradition to hold programs on Sunday following Baisakhi in Chattipadshahi Gurudwara.”


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