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Attari: Thousands on way to witness retreat ceremony sent back

The retreat ceremony was closed for public in view of the coronavirus scare on Indian side; Pak continue to entertain crowd
Hindustan Times, Attari (Amritsar) | By Anil Sharma, Attari (amritsar)
UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2020 11:16 PM IST

Despite the Border Security Force (BSF) announcing to conduct the daily retreat ceremony without crowd at the joint check post (JCP), Attari, in view of coronavirus scare, thousands of tourists from across the country thronged the border on Saturday.

The visitors were stopped and sent back by a team of Punjab Police before 2-km from the JCP. Most of the visitors blamed the administration for not spreading awareness about the closure of the ceremony for public.

Most of the tourists felt dejected and had to return without watching the ceremony. Some of the tourists danced on patriotic songs that they played on their mobile phones near the police barricading.

“I along with my friends arrived at the border to watch the retreat ceremony, however, we were sent back by the police. Even our taxi driver was not aware about the closure of the ceremony for public. Now, we were unnecessarily harassed,” said RK Parshad who had come from Andhra Pradesh.

Harish Kukreja, who along with his family had come from Guwahati, said, “We could have rather gone to the Golden Temple and other tourist destinations, had we got prior information about it. The administration should install hoardings informing about the closure of entry for public at the border.”

Another visitor Mamta from Hyderabad said she was dejected as it was her first visit to the border.

“Instead of banning the entry of public for taking part in such national events, the government should ensure proper screening of foreign tourists coming from virus-affected countries,” said Kamal Sarkar, who had come with his family from Kolkata.

Meanwhile, a BSF official at the border said the spectators were present at Pakistan side during the daily military drill on Saturday.


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