Ban lifted, but visitors denied entry for retreat ceremony at Wagah border | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Ban lifted, but visitors denied entry for retreat ceremony at Wagah border

BSF authorities told HT they had not received any official communication from the Amritsar deputy commissioner to allow spectators to witness the retreat ceremony.

india Updated: Oct 09, 2016 11:03 IST
HT Correspondent
In this July 21, 2015 file photo, Indian and Pakistani flags are lowered during a daily retreat ceremony at the India-Pakistan joint border check post of Attari-Wagah near Amritsar.
In this July 21, 2015 file photo, Indian and Pakistani flags are lowered during a daily retreat ceremony at the India-Pakistan joint border check post of Attari-Wagah near Amritsar.(AP)

Even as the district administration on Friday lifted the ban on the general public to attend the evening retreat ceremony at the Attari-Wagah border, the Border Security Force denied entry to visitors on Saturday.

BSF authorities told HT they had not received any official communication from the Amritsar deputy commissioner to allow spectators to witness the retreat ceremony. They, however, indicated people would be allowed entry on Sunday, once they receive the communication.

“We did not suspend public viewing of the retreat ceremony. It was the district administration’s decision. So once we receive the green signal, we will allow the public,” said a BSF officer.

The ban was imposed following the Indian Army’s surgical strikes on terror launch pads along the Line of Control in Kashmir on September 29.

Amritsar deputy commissioner Varun Roojam took the decision to lift the ban on Friday, the same day as the evacuation orders along the border with Pakistan were rolled back.

The retreat ceremony which involves lowering of the flags is a daily military practice that the BSF and Pakistan Rangers have jointly followed since 1959.