Chandigarh, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said here on Sunday devotees applying for visa online to visit Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan were not being charged by the Sewa Kendras, set up by the state government. Anyone asked to pay any fee should inform his office directly, he added.
Reacting to reports that pilgrims were being charged some facilitation fee for applying through the online portal at the Sewa Kendras, Singh said the application process was free of cost.
The Chief Minister said he would personally ensure strict action against officials if any specific complaint was received by the state government.
Pointing out that he had been opposing the $20 visa fee imposed by the Pakistan government for devotees travelling to the historic gurdwara through the Kartarpur Corridor, Singh said it was against the religious tenets of Sikhism.
In fact, India never charged pilgrims from any country, including from Pakistan, for visiting and paying obeisance at any religious shrine, he said and added, his government was against any deviation from this practice.
The Sewa Kendras, Singh said, had been issued detailed guidelines for facilitating and processing online applications.
His government was committed to ensuring seamless and hassle-free visit of devotees to Kartarpur Sahib for the ‘khulle darshan deedar’, which was the aspiration and right of every Sikh, the Chief Minister said.