Sikh pilgrims’ tents in Pakistan catches fire; no casualties

By Awais Saleem, IANS,

Islamabad : At least 20 tents of Sikh pilgrims were burnt to ashes in Pakistan’s Nankana Sahib city where they had gone to participate in the 542nd birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak, a media report said Saturday. No casualties were reported.

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“Rescue officials and fire brigade have reached the spot and the situation is under control,” Dunya TV reported adding that there was no loss of life or injury.

Regarding the cause of fire, there were conflicting reports. Some people on the spot said that the “tents caught fire during the process of cooking food in one of them” while some others claimed that “children playing with fire-crackers caused the fire”.

“Most of the pilgrims had already left for Gurdwara Sacha Sauda by the time the tents caught fire,” the channel said adding that only a few women and children were left behind who remained unhurt.

Some 4,000 Sikh pilgrims had reached Pakistan boarding special trains through the Wagah border Friday to attend the birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak, founder of the Sikh faith.

The tents in Nankana Sahib had been erected for their temporary residence by the local authorities. They will also visit Hassan Abdal and Aimen Abad to visit religious sites before returning to India Nov 29.

(Awais Saleem can be contacted at [email protected])