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Posted at: Jun 20, 2019, 6:46 AM; last updated: Jun 20, 2019, 6:46 AM (IST)

Uncertainty over BSF-Rangers meet during Chamliyal Mela

Unlike last year, admn gears up to make arrangements for fair
Uncertainty over BSF-Rangers meet during Chamliyal Mela
A devotee at the shrine of Sufi saint Dalip Singh Baba Chamliyal.

teev Sharma

Tribune News Service

Jammu, June 19

Amid strained relations between two neighbouring countries, uncertainty continues to prevail over the holding of traditional ceremonial flag meeting between the BSF and Pakistan Rangers during the annual Chamliyal Mela along the International Border (IB) in the Ramgarh sector of Samba district.

The annual mela falls on the last Thursday of June every year and this year, it is being celebrated on June 27. The administration claimed that devotees had started reaching the dargah of Baba Dalip Singh Manhas, known as Baba Chamliyal.

Last year, heightened tension along the 198-km IB, especially after a sniping incident by Rangers at the Chamliyal post, had led to the cancellation of the 320-year-old congregation at Baba Chamliyal dargah, for the first time since Independence.

According to BSF sources, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is yet to decide on holding the meeting.

“Everyone wants cordial relations between two countries and holding of the Chamliyal Mela in a big way. The MHA is reviewing the situation, but it largely depends on the other side of the border as how they (Pakistan government) respond in restoring peace on the border. We are yet to receive an official confirmation with regard to the flag meeting during the mela,” a senior BSF official said, wishing not to be named.

Samba Deputy Commissioner Sushma Chauhan said people from various parts of the region had started visiting the shrine, but the administration had not received any communication from the BSF for holding of the Chamliyal Mela.

A prominent resident of the Ramgarh area, who declined to be named, said the preparations for the mela had already begun. “Security arrangements, maintenance of all approach roads to the dargah, proper electricity, health facilities, fire and emergency services and other essential services during the mela are being put in place,” he said.


Three-day event 

At the revered shrine on either side of the border, a three-day fair in the memory of Baba Dalip Singh Manhas is held on the last Thursday of June every year where Pakistan Rangers also offer a “chaddar” (ceremonial cloth) and sweets while the BSF, in turn, gives them “shakkar” (holy soil) and “sharbat” (holy water) that many believe cure skin-related ailments.

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