India-Bangladesh border ceremony to begin Oct 2

Last Updated: Thu, Sep 12, 2013 10:00 hrs

Kolkata, Sep 12 (IANS) Petrapole, a sleepy border town in West Bengal, will soon witness a dazzling retreat ceremony conducted by border troopers of India and Bangladesh.

Slated to begin Oct 2 on Gandhi Jayanti, the ceremony has been modelled on the world-famous drill at the India-Pakistan Attari-Wagah border check-post in Punjab.

The ceremony at Petrapole will see India's Border Security Force (BSF) and the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) conduct the drill in unison and synchronised coordination in full regalia at sunset by lowering their respective national flags.

"The ceremony is expected to start from Oct 2, Gandhi Jayanti," a BSF officer said.

The drill at Petrapole has been fine-tuned to suit the taste of spectators of Bengal as well as in keeping with the existing cordial and harmonious relations between the BSF and the BGB.

People will not see the adrenaline rushing aggression which is on display at Attari but it will be much subdued in comparison, the BSF said in a release.

Initially, the retreat ceremony will be held in the Petrapole-Benapole border. Subsequently, it will be organised in a phased manner in Changrabandha-Burimari (also in West Bengal) and in Akhura-Phulbari (in Tripura).

The BSF said the ceremony was a result of mutual deliberations during a director general-level coordination conference held in Dhaka in 2011.

It is a part of confidence-building measures aimed at evolving better and cordial relations between the people of both countries.

The flag-lowering routine will be carried out before sunset. A contingent of 20 personnel each from both forces will march up to the gate at zero line and open the gate.

Songs of Nazrul Islam and melodious tunes of Rabindra Sangeet will reverberate through the evening air for half-an-hour.

Women personnel from both the forces will also take part in the 30-minute ceremony comprising 18 minutes of cultural programme and 12 minutes of drill.

The cultural programme will initially be arranged on national holidays of both the countries and at mutually agreed upon frequency either once a month or once in a fortnight. School children from both the countries are expected to participate in these programmes.

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