ATTARI: Pakistan has sent back a jatha of Hindu pilgrims two days before their scheduled departure, citing security concerns. As many as 270 pilgrims had left on February 22 to celebrate Mahashivratri at Katasraj cluster of temples in Chakwal district of Pakistan and were scheduled to return on February 28.

The devotees, who were initially appreciative of the Pakistan government for showing concern towards their security, later blamed it for keeping them within the precincts of the temples and gurdwaras and not allowing them to go to market places.

A devotee from Delhi, Pardeep, informed TOI on Sunday that government officials cited ‘security concerns as the reason for sending them back to India. “They didn’t allow us to go outside the temples and gurdwaras,” he said.

Stating that they (Pak government officials) equivocated when asked the reason for sending them back early, Satish Kumar Goswami, a devotee, said that the devotees were taken aback when they were told to pack their belongings and ride the bus on the evening of Mahashivratri for Lahore. He said the pilgrims had already heard of a bomb blast in Lahore and were panicky. “But Pak officials claimed that those were cylinder blasts,” he further said.

ATTARI: Pakistan has sent back a jatha of Hindu pilgrims two days before their scheduled departure, citing security concerns. As many as 270 pilgrims had left on February 22 to celebrate Mahashivratri at Katasraj cluster of temples in Chakwal district of Pakistan and were scheduled to return on February 28.

The devotees, who were initially appreciative of the Pakistan government for showing concern towards their security, later blamed it for keeping them within the precincts of the temples and gurdwaras and not allowing them to go to market places.

A devotee from Delhi, Pardeep, informed TOI on Sunday that government officials cited ‘security concerns as the reason for sending them back to India. “They didn’t allow us to go outside the temples and gurdwaras,” he said.

Stating that they (Pak government officials) equivocated when asked the reason for sending them back early, Satish Kumar Goswami, a devotee, said that the devotees were taken aback when they were told to pack their belongings and ride the bus on the evening of Mahashivratri for Lahore. He said the pilgrims had already heard of a bomb blast in Lahore and were panicky. “But Pak officials claimed that those were cylinder blasts,” he further said.