JAMMU Amid tensions at the border with Pakistan, India today cancelled Chamliyal mela (fair) at the International Border(IB) for the first since Independence.
The shine of baba Dalip Singh Manhas, known as baba Chamliyal in Samba district, 50 kms from Jammu is a magnet for devotees. The fair due to begin on June 28th in Ramgarh was cancelled on advice of security forces, district development commissioner Rajinder Singh told PTI.
Singh said the fair was cancelled as lakhs of people from across the country were expected to visit the area and their lives could not be put at risk.
“We cannot put the lives of the people at stake by holding the mela,” he said.
Until 1971, Pakistani nationals were allowed to visit the shrine, however, after the war between India and Pakistan, the practice was discontinued.
“People are visiting the shrine on daily basis but this year, there will be no big gathering like yesteryears. No stalls will be set up and there will be no arrangements from our side,” he added.
During the fair, Pakistan Rangers used to exchange sweets with BSF personnel at while a delegation of the force would offer chadar at the shrine, located one-and-a-half kilometres from Zero Line. In return, Indian soldiers offered holy water and sugar to Pakistani soldiers.
India and Pakistan soldiers have been involved in constant cross-border firing for the past one month with several low-intensity terror attacks carried out in Pulwama, Poonch and other adjourning areas which severely jolted peace moves in J&K.
It came soon after India and Pakistan DGMOs agreed to a 2003 ceasefire agreement which was violated just days later.
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