Amritsar (IANS): Walking in the midst of hundreds of devotees, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday offered prayers at the holiest of Sikh shrines, Harmandir Sahib, popularly known as Golden Temple, and later paid homage at Jallianwala Bagh where hundreds of innocent people were massacred by British troops on April 13, 1919.
This was the first time Modi visited the Sikh shrine after becoming prime minister in May last year.
Hundreds of devotees were present at the shrine when Modi arrived. People were not stopped from entering the shrine even during Modi’s visit.
People could be seen trying to catch a glimpse of the prime minister and many followed his entourage as he walked around the ‘parikarma’ around the sacred ‘sarovar’.
Many people, including youth, could be seen taking videos and photos as Modi passed them.
The prime minister acknowledged the people with folded hands as they waved to him.
Modi arrived here after paying homage to martyrs Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru at the Hussainiwala memorial in Ferozepur district.
With his head covered in a white cloth with two red stripes, Modi entered the shrine complex through the Darshani Deori with folded hands and walked along the ‘parikarma’ before entering the sanctum santorum.
He was accompanied by Punjab Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and union ministers Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Vijay Sampla.
Inside the main shrine, Modi bowed before the Sikh holy scripture, Guru Granth Sahib. He remained inside the sanctum sanctorum for a couple of minutes.
He was presented a ‘siropa’ (robe of honour) by the ‘granthi’ (priest) of the shrine.
Surrounded by his special protection group (SPG) security along with Punjab Police personnel in plainclothes and Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) volunteers, the prime minister came out of the shrine after spending nearly 40 minutes there.
Before leaving the shrine complex, Modi met SGPC functionaries who submitted a memorandum regarding various demands related to Sikh religion.
The prime minister then went to the nearby Jallianwala Bagh premises and paid homage to those who lost their lives there during the country’s freedom struggle.
Modi then went to the famous Hindu shrine, Durgiana Mandir, and offered prayers before leaving for New Delhi.