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No more mad rush, book online now to watch BSF-Pak Rangers’ retreat ceremony at Attari border

Online registration begins from 1 January, 2023 to ‘smoothen the process’ for visitors; the decision is part of Centre’s digital push, says BSF.

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New Delhi: Next time you wish to visit the Attari-Wagah International Border to watch the unique flag-lowering and retreat ceremony conducted daily at the joint-check post (JCP) by troops of the Border Security Force (BSF) and Pakistan Rangers — book online.

The BSF on Sunday launched a website to enable prior bookings, which will open from 1 January, 2023. Seats will be available 48 hours before a particular day’s programme. The entire booking process will be free, the BSF said.

“We hope to smoothen the process for those attending. This is in line with the government’s digital push. We hope with the website, the process will be seamless for those attending,” the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the BSF said.

People come from all over the country to Attari to witness the daily event and prior bookings will give them the chance to concretise their travel plans and arrangements, the PRO added.

Earlier, people would reach the joint check post and queue up outside for hours before the ceremony. Once the gates opened, there would be a mad rush to get good seats, or any seat at all.

Only those with “connections” in the security establishment were assured of a viewing from a front-row seat.

But the booking system will change this uncertainty. Sources said over 20,000 people visit the check post today to watch this unique ceremony.

The website has been created by Kynet Web Solutions (Mandi) and a team of experts from the National Informatics Center (NIC), led by Senior Technical Director Ashok Kumar Agrawal, the BSF said.

The lowering of the flag ceremony at Attari is a daily practice the security forces of the two neighbours have conducted since 1959. The first retreat ceremony was held in 1952.

Historically, a retreat ceremony was carried out after fighting troops concluded their battle, sheathed their weapons, and retreated from the battlefield after sunset.

After the Partition in 1947, the joint check post was set up near Border Pillar 102 of the International Border. This post is on the historic Grand Trunk Road, one of the oldest and longest routes in Asia. The JCP marks the start of India’s National Highway 1.

Attari was also home to Sardar Sham Singh Attariwala, one of the generals in the army of Sikh emperor Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

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