Young devotees offer prayers outside a gurdwara in Fatehgarh Sahib in Monday.
Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu
Fatehgarh Sahib, December 26 The three-day annual Shaheedi Jor Mela has started here today with religious fervour. The Mela is organised to commemorate the martyrdom of younger Sahibjadas of Guru Gobind Singh, who were bricked alive here by the Mughals for refusing to embrace Islam.
To mark the beginning, “Akhand Path of Shri Guru Granth Sahib” has started at Gurdwara Jyoti Swarup Sahib. Deputy Commissioner Yashveer Mahajan with other officials and a large number of devotees attended the ceremony. Giani Balwant Singh, head priest of Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib performed the “ardaas”.
On the first day, a sea of devotees thronged the town and long queues could be seen at Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib and Gurdwara Jyoti Swarup Sahib. More than 10 lakh devotees are expected to pay obeisance at these gurdwaras.
After the election code of conduct came into force, no ruling party leader was seen during the inauguration ceremonies, exhibitions, Kavi Darbar, light and sound and other government sponsored events. The Deputy Commissioner inaugurated all the events.
Mahajan said that the district administration had made elaborate arrangements for smooth conduct of the mela, which would be totally religious in nature and all the wine shops, gambling stalls, dancing pandals, circuses, swings and other sources of entertainment had been banned.
“24-hour power supply, clean drinking water; toilet facilities and medical facilities have been provided and mini buses have been introduced to carry senior citizens, ladies free of cost to the gurdwaras,” he said.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) RS Khatra said, “Foolproof security arrangements have been made for the pilgrims and the mela has been divided into four sectors. To control traffic, 200 cops have been deployed under SP rank officer. For security of the pilgrims, 10 SP rank officers, 20 DSPs, 71 Inspectors and 2,000 police personnel, including 100 women constables, have been deputed to keep a watch on anti-social elements.”
Meanwhile, a large number of community kitchens have started serving food to devotees. On second day of the mela, various political parties would organise their conferences.
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and other leaders would address the SAD conference. Congress conference near Roza Sharif would be addressed by Captain Amarinder Singh, President, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) and other leaders.
SAD (Amritsar), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Sikh Students’ Federation and Dal Khalsa would also organise their respective conferences. On concluding day of the mela, Nagar Kirtan would be taken out from Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib to Jyoti Swarup Sahib.