SRINAGAR: The India-Pakistan tension hit the annual fair at Chamliyal shrine close to International Border (IB) in Samba district of J&K with no participation from the Pakistani side. There was no traditional exchange of sweets, chadars, shaker (sacred clay) and sharbat between the two sides.
The annual fair at the shrine of saint Baba Dalip Singh Manhas, popularly known as Baba Chamliyal, is held on the fourth Thursday of June.
The Chamliyal shrine is revered by people of all faiths on both sides of the border. The Pakistan Rangers and civil officials used to participate in the fair. The Pakistani side used to send chadar and in return, they were provided shaker and sharbat from this side.
According to locals, the ‘Shakar’ and ‘Sharbat’ of the shrine have medicinal value and they believe it cures various types of skin diseases.
However, for the second consecutive year, there was no participation of Pakistani side. Billu Choudhary, a member of Mela Committee of Chamliyal mela, said, “Last year, after killing of four BSF men in Pakistani troops firing on June 12, the Pakistani side was not invited to participate in the mela and there was no exchange of sweets, shaker and sharbat,” he said.
About a lakh of devotees from different faiths participated in the mela this year. The volunteers had made langar and other arrangements for the pilgrims.