After Mumbai attacks Chamliyal Mela brings Indo-Pak closer

DIG BSF-Brigadier Masood exchange gifts at Ramgarh border

By News Agency of Kashmir

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Ramgarh): The Chamliyal Mela (Fair) was celebrated with full fervor and joyfulness by the people of both sides India and Pakistan in Ramgarh sector of International Border, today.

After Mumbai attacks this is first time that Indo-Pak troops are meeting each other and distributing sweets among each other.

“The Festival has always played a role of catalyst to bring the troops of the two neighboring countries closer to each other”, said a visitor who was accompanying the Pakistani rangers on zero line.

“Border have divided the land in two parts but the blessings of Baba Chamliyal still enables us to see each other and due to this festival”, Asif a resident of Sialkot told News Agency of Kashmir.

He said that no one wants borders between the humanity but these are only circumstances which put us in sixty years trial.

The Deputy Inspector General of BSF from Indian side and Brigadier Masood from Pakistan exchanged sweets and Rangers handed over green Chader besides sweets to their Indian counter part to present it before Baba Chamliyal on behalf of People of Pakistan and Rangers.

PaK Rangers accompanied by Pakistani devotees from Sialkot and other parts of Pakistan come on the International Border near the shrine and attended the fair; however they are not permitted to visit the shrine.

Deputy Commissioner Samba, Inspector General of Police Jammu range K. Rajendra , Corporator, Bansi Lal Gupta, Rashida Begum and other senior citizens of the Jammu and Samba district were also present in the Mela. Gupta had organised free Langer for the devotees outside the Shrine.

The families of both police and civil officials were seen coming in their official vehicles despite scorching heat? While those belong to poor families believe to come on foot on such occasions. “I came by-foot from Vijaypur chowk and have started in the morning at 5.30 along with my family”, Sham Lal said adding we believe that devotees should come without shoes if they want their wishes come true.

“This fair is a living testimony for the Hindu-Muslim ties along the International Border that survived the scars of the partition”, a PaK visitor told NAK, adding, “The love and blessings of Baba replaced bullets and intermittent bangs of mortars by rhythmic beats of drums and devotional songs on Indo-Pak borders”.

It is believed that the soil and water near the Baba shrine cures skin diseases of all types and Pakistani devotees are gifted this soil and water by the Indian Border Security forces after the function is over.

The soil given to them is called (Shakar) means sugar and the water as Sharbat means Juice.

The Rangers were gifted with the two trolleys Soil (Shaker) and two tankers water (Sharbat) by the Indian counter parts for distributing among the devotees of the other side.

Thousands visit on both sides of border to pay their obeisance to Baba and take part in the festival at his shrines in Chamliyal in India and Saidawali in Pakistan. “see how it hearts one heart that one brother is on that side and another is at this side” said member of Baba Chamliyal Committee adding “I have seen people from Pakistan coming here in Ramgarh on the day of Mela (Fair) but circumstances created a gap between the two”.

People in Pakistan who were visible from the zero line assemble at Baba’s Dargah in Saidawali village, but they are not allowed to cross the border.

Another visitor from Indian side said “This is not just a mela but a strong bond and Baba’s blessings that have kept people of two countries emotionally close to each other despite the unfortunate partition in 1947.

Till 1971 Pakistan’s were allowed to visit this side of the border but after 1971 war only Chader green cloth is allowed.

After 1990’s the fair was suspended due to heavy shelling but later after seize fire Pakistani rangers (Border Police) was allowed to participate in the festival.

India and Pakistan fought three of two wars in past, the people of both the countries still assemble and pay their obeisance to Baba Chamliyal. The Chamliyal festival (Fair) is organised every last Thursday of June in memory of 18th century saint on both sides of Indo- Pak Border in Ramgarh sector on Indian side.

Baba Chamliyal lived about 300 years ago and came to be revered by people because of his saintly qualities and spiritual powers.

It is said that Baba sacrificed his life when he was beheaded by those who did not like his growing influence at village Saidawali now in Pakistan. But the legend says his head, through Baba’s spiritual power came to Chamliyal village where his disciples built a tomb in his memory