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February 3, 2023 10:55 pm

Descendants of Rai Bular Bhatti claim they have been denied visa to visit Golden Temple in Amritsar for SGPC event

Amritsar, October 15

The descendants of Rai Bular Bhatti, who had donated land for Gurdwara Nankana Sahib at Lahore in Pakistan, said they have not been granted visas to visit the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

The Bhatti family was to attend an event organised by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) to put up a portrait of Rai Bular Bhatti — a 15th century Muslim landlord and disciple of Guru Nanak Dev — at the museum in the Golden Temple complex on October 15.

Rai Bular Bhatti had donated 18,500 acres for Gurdwara Nankana Sahib in Lahore.

Talking to PTI from Lahore in Pakistan over the phone on Friday, Rai Saleem Bhatti (44), an eminent lawyer at the Lahore High Court and 19th generation of Rai Bular Bhatti, expressed sadness for the denial of visa to him and his family to attend the event arranged by the SGPC.

Bhatti said it was not the first time whereupon he was not given a visa to visit India. He said he was not granted the visa in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

“But this time our entire family got saddened when the visa was not granted to us since it was such a holy occasion when the SGPC was going to install the portrait of Rai Bular Bhatti in the central museum of the Golden Temple,” he said.

He said despite completing all visa formalities and recommendation by the SGPC, the visa was not granted by the Indian embassy.

“We have conveyed our inability to the SGPC for not visiting India. We requested the SGPC to go ahead and install the portrait of Rai Bular Bhatti Sahib. We will definitely come to the Golden Temple when Baba Nanak will shower His grace on the Bhatti’s family,” he said.

“Rai Bular Bhatti Sahib was a staunch follower of Baba Guru Nanak Peer. The Bhatti family had donated 18,500 acres to Gurdwara Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak,” he said.

There is no doubt Baba Nanak is the Guru of Sikh community but also ‘Peer’ for Muslims, he said.

Earlier, the SGPC had scheduled the event for October 11 but it could not happen as the descendants of Rai Bular Bhatti could not reach for want of visa clearance.

Now, the SGPC will go ahead with the event on October 15.

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