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ATTARI: After 18 long months, the Border Security Force (BSF) has resumed public viewing of the daily Beating Retreat event, or as popularly known, the flag lowering ceremony, held simultaneously by Indian jawans and their counterparts of the Pakistani Rangers in Attari (India) – International border of Wagah (Pakistan).
The public screening of the ceremony was suspended on March 7, 2020, following the coronavirus pandemic. On average, nearly 20,000 spectators traveled to the international border to witness the ceremony, a staple of any tourist’s itinerary visiting Amritsar.
Kuldeep Singh, BSF, Punjab Frontier, public relations manager, told TOI on Friday that the ban on public viewing of the Beating Retreat was lifted on September 15. Covid 19 standards can be implemented. ”
Meanwhile, the resumption of the flag lowering ceremony drew cheers on the faces of restaurant owners in Attari, as well as taxi and rickshaw operators carrying tourists from Amritsar. “Although late, we really appreciate the BSF for resuming the flag lowering ceremony,” said auto rickshaw operator Manna who had made three or four trips to Attari a week before the ceremony closed at public.
Restaurant owner Amrit Soni has said he has been completely bankrupt since the public screening of the flag lowering ceremony was banned. “I used to earn a good sum in my small restaurant, but when visitors stopped coming here, I had to find a job for 9,000 rupees a month. Hopefully the good days will return soon, ”he said.
The BSF, however, has yet to resume public display of flag lowering ceremonies at the borders of Hussaniwala and Sadqui.