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Ceasefire violations cast spell on historic Mela Chambliyal
JAMMU, June 15: Clouds of uncertainty loom large on the celebration of forthcoming Mela Baba Chambliyal on June 22 in Ramgarh area of Samba district due to ongoing cross border skirmishes along the border between India and Pakistan.

Border Security Force (BSF) held a flag meeting with Pakistan Rangers last month near Suchetgarh to convey its concern over the frequent ceasefire violations along the International Border (IB)

Located barely 100 metres away from the zero line of IB with Pakistan, the shrine of mystic Baba Chambliyal is 60 km south of Jammu, the winter capital of north Himalayan state.

Thousands of followers converge at the 335 years old mausoleum of a Sofi saint on the both sides of the IB to pay their obeisance during an annual fair held in his memory on fourth Thursday of June every year.

Incidentally, the area witnessed some incidents of ceasefire violations in recent weeks. Jammu and Kashmir has over 1222 km border with Pakistan including 221 km of IB and 1001 km of Line of Control (LoC) - 205 km in Jammu region and 460 km in Kashmir valley besides 336 km in Ladakh-Siachen.

During the fair, BSF personnel carry two tractor driven trolleys laden with clay (Shakkar) and Sharbat (Water) and hand over the same to their counterparts, Pakistan Rangers, who in turn distribute the same among thousands of men and women waiting for it in village Saidawali in Sialkote district of West Pakistan.

Rangers offer a Chadder embroidered with Quranic verses for the saint’s tomb.

The fair is observed for one day on this side of IB while devotees on the other side of the border in village Saidawali celebrate the fair for a week. People on both sides visit the tomb or its replica in village Saidawali for treatment of chronic skin diseases and apply paste of ‘Shakkar and Sharbat’ on affected parts of the body.

The fair is a symbol of shared heritage of India and Pakistan and is celebrated in memory of Baba Dileep Singh Manhas who was beheaded by some criminals who also dropped his corpse in village Saidawali and his head is buried in village Chambliyal.

Both the sides, therefore, attained importance culturally 300 years ago.

Legend says, one of the Baba’s disciple suffering from chronic skin disease prayed to him for its cure. Baba appeared in his dream and advised him to apply ‘Shakkar and Sharbat’ from his shrine complex on his body. He obeyed his directive and within few days and he was completely cured. Since then the shrine gained the belief of the people of different faiths.

News Updated at : Friday, June 16, 2017
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