A day after being kept in the dark by Pakistan over the retreat ceremony; the BSF troops on Tuesday were aggression personified and outdid the Pakistani Rangers in the 15-minute drill that evoked a huge response from the jampacked Indian galleries.
The Attari border, which had witnessed a lull and Pakistan’s U-turn on Monday that had stunned the BSF, came back to life on Tuesday as thousands of Indian tourists packed the gallery; whereas half the seating area on the Pakistani side was empty.
It was around 3.30 pm that the tourists started pouring in and by 5 pm, there were around 10,000 people in the gallery.
All eyes were on the drill that had seen an enormous drama on Monday. The BSF jawans, instead of walking virtually ran towards the border gates, opened it with a huge thud, raised the arms, stomped the feet on the ground bringing them from maximum elevation, all showing their aggressive tone.
Backed by huge public support, the BSF jawans looked extremely charged up as they stared towards the Pakistani Rangers, who also reciprocated.
Apparently, the Pakistani move in which the Rangers had organised the ceremony with aggression on Monday after keeping the BSF in the dark, was playing on the minds of Indian troops.
The Pakistani Rangers were also seen marching to the gates with aggressive postures and performing the drill with heavy foot stomping. They also looked charged up. But they lacked support as half their visitors’ gallery was empty.
The scenes on both sides belied the fact that the border had witnessed such high-intensity blast that had killed around 60 people two days back.
The border was back to life as Indian tourists marched towards the gates with flags in hands.
High security in place, SWAT takes guard
The BSF seemed taking no chances with the security of the area. Not only extra frisking of visitors was done but also the entire gallery area was checked by the bomb squad.
Sniffer dogs and other security equipment were put in place. The Punjab police cops were also present in big numbers in the ceremony area and on outer nakas.
Apart from cops in civil clothes, the police had placed on duty its highly trained Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) squad. SSP Amritsar (rural) Jasdeep Singh was also present.
About the ceremony
After Partition, the Attari-Wagah joint check-post was set up on Border Pillar 102
National flag was hoisted on this joint check post on October 11, 1947 for the first time
Was guarded by Army from 1947 to 1952
Punjab Police looked after it later, till 1965
Ceremony took place on this border for the first time in 1952
BSF took over the post from December 1, 1965
Flags are hoisted in the morning by forces of both nations
In evening when flags are lowered, both Rangers and BSF perform an aggressive coordinated drill.