Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal (File photo)
Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal (File photo)

Harsimrat Badal urges PM to bring back stranded pilgrims to Punjab through special trains

ANI | Updated: Apr 13, 2020 15:26 IST

New Delhi [India], April 13 (ANI): Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ask the Ministry of Railways to run special trains to repatriate the pilgrims stranded at Hazur Sahib in Maharashtra's Nanded and at Patna Sahib in Bihar.
In a letter to the Prime Minister on April 12, the Union Minister stated that more than 5,000 Sikh pilgrims from Punjab are stranded at Gurdwara Hazur Sahib in Nanded and at Gurdwara Takht Sri Patna Sahib in Bihar since the beginning of the lockdown last month.
"These pilgrims have been away from their families for more than a month and have been surviving on the food and shelter provided by the gurdwaras. Many of them are accompanied by young children and elderly parents... With the wheat harvesting season starting on April 15, it is important for these people to come back to Punjab," she wrote.
Badal said that the pilgrims have already been in quarantine for more than three weeks.
"However, to be safe, they may be scanned again and those not showing any symptoms may be cleared for going back. The Ministry of Railways may be requested to run special trains from Nanded, Maharashtra (for 3,000 people approximately) and Patna, Bihar (2,000 passengers approximately) to bring these pilgrims to Punjab," she said.
"The state government of Punjab may be directed to make arrangements for their dispersal to their hometowns after due scanning and if required, they make be asked to stay in quarantine in their respective villages," the minister added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on March 24 announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown as a precautionary measure to contain the spread of COVID-19. (ANI)

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