Ban on visitors hit businesses in Punjab’s Attari
A day after the Border Security Force (BSF) banned visitors at the Beating the Retreat Ceremony at Attari-Wagah border, hundreds of people, such as shopkeepers, small vendors and rickshaw-pullers, have gone out of work in Attari town, which is 30km from Amritsar.
Most businesses in Attari rely upon the cross-border trade and the visitors at the daily foot-stomping ceremony.
“I have been pulling rickshaw for 25 years between the ICP and the joint check post (JCP). Now I have no business. The government should revoke the ban on tourists,” said 52-year-old Raju Singh.
Jagir Singh, 50, of Attari, who has been selling caps and tricolours for last ten years, said, “The decision to not allowing tourists here will ruin us.”
35-year-old Surinder Singh Mintu, who owns a dhaba at Attari, said, “The business of hundreds shopkeepers has been hit badly due to the closure of trade with Pakistan. The decision of banning the tourists will worsen our condition. Tourists are not being banned at religious places?”
Hundreds of coolies, truckers and their helpers are already struggling to make ends meet since Pakistan halted trade with India in August last year.
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