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  • Approx 15,000 participated with great passion, enthusiasm and devotion
  • MLC S. Charanjeet Singh Khalsa, MLC Sh. Pardeep Sharma paid obeisance
  • Afghanistan killing condemned

LOC, POONCH: 20th Gurmat Samagam Concluded with fervour and gaiety, 43 days long samagam was organized  at Gurdwara Yaadgar Bhai Bahadur Singh ji, Dharmsaal Khari, Poonch situated on extreme LOC near Trade Facilitation Centre Chakan Da Bagh on Poonch Rawlakote Road . Thousands of pilgrims paid homage to this religious place today on culmination of Mahan Gurmat Samagam. This year Mahan Gurmat  Samagam was organized in connection with 550th birth celebration of Guru Nanak Dev Ji founder of Sikhism.

Gurmat Samagam is organized every year for duration of about one and a half month’s upto first week of July. Children Samagam, Youth Samagam, Istry Satsang Samagam,  Sikh Missionary College Samagam, All India Sikh Students Federation Samagam, 10days special Gurmat Sikhlai Camp for youth, full night Kirtan Darbar ‘Raen Sabhai’  and daring Sikh Maritial art ‘Gatka’ which established chivalry and help the youth to connect them with their ancient heritage remains main attractions of the event.  A free medical camp was also organized wherein free medicines were also provided to the needy patients.

A large no of devotees irrespective of caste, creed and religion drawn from Jammu, Kathua, Samba, Rajouri, Reasi and Poonch areas of State joined the final ceremony with great zeal and enthusiasm and paid their obeisance to the Guru Granth Sahib amidst Gurubani Kirtan by Kirtni Jatha of Bhai Surinder Singh Jodhpuri, Hazori Raagi Shri Darbar Sahib. Distinguished Sikh preacher Bhai Lakhvinder Singh, Lucknow Wale, addressed the Sangat present on the occasion emphasizing on spiritual enlightment and its relevance in Sikhism followed by discourse on Naam Simran and Purity of Soul with Nitnem.  Sikh Sangat was also asked to remain vigilant from the forces within which are creating confusion in the Sikh Panth and which threaten unity of Sikh Panth.

This Gurdwara Sahib is locted at the extreme border shared by India and Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir. The history and background of the shrine associated with Sant Bhai  Bahadur Singh Ji. Sant Bhai Bahadur Singh was closely associated with Sant Bhai Rocha Singh Ji. Sant Bhai Bhadur Singh Ji had come to Khari Dharamsal in the 18th century AD. Sant Bhai Bhadur Singh Ji established his Dera in the village. Daily Satsang was organized in the evening hours, with natives and devotees participating and listening the sermon of the Sant ji. Sant Ji constructed a Dharamsal at the present place. This place was a halting station. Therefore, the persons who halted in the Dharamsal also came under the influence of the preaching of Sant Ji and started embrasing Sikhism. During this very period with the efforts of Sant Bhai Bhadur Singh Ji a number of Sikh families from Muzaffarabad, Uri and Hazara district migrated to village Dharamsal Khari. In this manner Dharamsal Khari emerged as one of important centre for preaching of Sikhism in this mountainous area in 18th century AD.

During the culmination ceremony, famous local raagis and preachers viz S Manmohan Singh, S Santokh Singh, Raagi Manmeet Singh, S Jaswant Singh, Ranjit Singh, S Jagjeet Singh, S Sartaj Singh, S Jasbir Singh and Sardar Harcharan Singh also addressed the sangat present. S.Tarlochan Singh wazir chairman J&K state Gurdwara Parbandhak Board and former MLC also addressed the Sangat and urged to follow the teachings of Guru Granth Sahib ji for a peaceful life and to promote brotherhood in world.

Officers from district administration, Army, Political and Social Personalities also participated in the ceremony with great devotion. The District administration and army also contributed in their own accord.  A memorandum was also submitted to Hon’ble Governor of Jammu and Kashmir through Deputy Commissioner Poonch, highlighting burning Sikh demands, and the State was also urged for constitution of Minority Commission for Sikhs and to implement Punjabi Language in the educational curriculum of the Government schools at the earliest.

The Sikh community has condemned the killing of 19 persons, including Sikh leaders Avtar Singh Khalsa and Rawail Singh, in Afghanistan. Special prayers were offered for the eternal peace of the departed soul and courage to bereaved families to bear this irreparable loss.  Deputy Commissioner Poonch, Sh Rahul Yadav, IAS, Brigadier 93 Infantry Brigade Sh. Munish Gupta, Sh. Rajiv Pandey, IPS, SSP Poonch and various other officers / officials from different departments participated and prayed for well being of the society. Deputy Commissioner Poonch urged the Sikh sangat to follow the path shown by Guru Nanak and to remain in forefront in case of any emergency/disaster like situation in the District.  SSP Poonch urged the sangat present on the occasion to follow the teaching of the Gurus and appealed the youth of Poonch region to remain vigilant against divisive forces and be away from wide spread menace of drugs. 

S. Harcharan Singh Khalsa thanked the Sangat, the Raagis & the Preachers. Special thanks were offered to Officers / Officials from District Administration, Army & Police for their cooperation during the samagam.