300 stranded as Centre blocks Pakistani train



Nearly 300 pilgrims, mostly SIkhs, from different parts of India were stranded at the Attari railway station near Amritsar on Wednesday after the Centre didn't allow a special train from Pakistan that was to ferry them to that country to enter India.

The pilgrims, who were going to Pakistan to observe the death anniversary of the Sikh empire's founder Maharaja Ranjit Singh, were stranded at the Attari railway station amid heavy rain. 

They were to visit various Sikh shrines and places associated with the warrior king in Pakistan. The pilgrims had availed Pakistani visas for the trip.

Officials said the central government did not allow the train, which was standing at Wagah in Pakistan, to enter India.

Railway officials at Attari said the train could not be allowed to come in the absence of permission from the central government.

The pilgrims, who had come from Delhi, Punjab and other places, raised slogans against the government.

Relations between India and Pakistan have been strained owing to terrorist incidents and ceasefire violations in Jammu and Kashmir.

Hundreds of pilgrims, mostly Sikhs, go to Pakistan in large groups on different occasions, including the birth and death anniversaries of Sikh Gurus and on Baisakhi festival. - IANS