Wagah style BSF retirement ceremony launched at Octerio BoP in RS Pura
India on Saturday launched a Wagah-Attari-style BSF “retirement ceremony” at the Octerio border post near the village of Suchetgarh on the international border on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti.
The ceremony, including a parade structured by men from the BSF, was launched with Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha calling the event a “history going on” and the locals fervently hoping that the usual clatter of guns and the The roar of shells through the IB, prevalent until recently, will be a thing of the past.
They also hoped that this event would bring much needed peace to the Suchetgarh area of Jammu and Kashmir, helping it to become a year round tourist spot like the Attari border and heralding peace and prosperity for the residents. cross-border workers thanks to tourist activities.
People’s chants of “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” and “Vande Matram” tear the air as the BSF men marched in crisp uniforms.
“Today is a story to be made. Suchetgarh will now be known not only on the J&K tourist map, but all over India, ”said Sinha.
He also commended the efforts of the BSF and other agencies to initiate the step.
“This is a historic milestone showing the return of much needed peace along the BI, which was previously rocked by the clatter of guns and the roar of shells across the border,” Shamsher Singh said. from the village of Suchetgarh.
“It will also promote tourism in the region. It’s a big day for us, “he added.
Like Singh, an elderly woman Kanta Devi was so excited that she danced to the rhythm of the drums of the villagers.
“We’ve been watching our homes get shot and bombed for years now. But this scene brought us joy and peace. It should be a permanent feature, ”she said, fervently hoping for peace to reign in and around her village.
Deepika, a student from the border area of RS Pura, said she had only seen such retirement ceremonies on television until then. She said she was happy it was happening in front of her in her own area.
On July 4, 2016, the government of Jammu and Kashmir launched a border tourism initiative at Octerio BoP. A group of nearly 100 tourists from various parts of the country visited the Octerio border post along the IB, which has a three-level border fence.
Former J&K Culture and Tourism Minister Priya Sethi, who started border tourism in Jammu in 2016, then led the first group of 100 tourists, who traveled in a special bus to the border belt from Suchetgarh to RS Pura tehsil of Jammu district. .
“It is a historic occasion when the retirement ceremony was held here,” said DIG PS Sandhu of BSF (Jammu Frontier).
This was the first initiative after many years to set up the Indian side border tourism retreat ceremony on the Wagah border lines.
The government restored the old colonial Octroi BoP building and turned it into a gallery of gallantry, in addition to building a multipurpose hall, a children’s park and a border meeting post here on the border under the Himalayan circuit of Swadesh. Bharat Scheme from the central government.
The city of Suchetgarh, now in Pakistan, is about 27 km from Jammu and previously served as a route to Sialkot during the pre-partition era.
The Jammu-Sialkot Railway Line through Suchetgarh was a 43 km narrow gauge branch of the Northwest Railway and the first railway line in Jammu and Kashmir.
Since 1947, the line has fallen into disuse on both sides of the border.
The Jammu Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, meanwhile, congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi and LG Sinha for starting the retirement ceremony here.
CCIJ President Arun Gupta said it was a necessary step to boost the region’s economy as people are likely to visit the region in large numbers to watch the parade and announce a change in the socio-economic situation of the entire belt. .