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Abhinandan Varthaman return: Beating retreat ceremony cancelled ahead of IAF pilot’s return



The Retreat Ceremony at the Attari-Wagah joint checkpost between India and Pakistan was cancelled for Friday by the Border Security Force (BSF) as IAF pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman is set to return from Pakistan in the evening.

Amritsar Deputy Commissioner Shivdular Singh Dhillon told the media at the checkpost that the BSF had cancelled the event due to security reasons.
Image result for Retreat Ceremony at India-Pakistan border axed for Friday
Scores of enthusiastic people assembled at the border on Friday to receive Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot Abhinandan Varthaman who is likely to be released by Pakistani authorities.

Varthaman will be debriefed by military and security officials upon his return before being flown to New Delhi from Amritsar.

The BSF, which mans the checkpost and the 553-km International Border with Pakistan in Punjab, is on high alert. Punjab Police and other security agencies stationed additional personnel in the area since Friday morning.

The 35-year-old Wing Commander was captured on Wednesday by Pakistan after his MiG-21 Bison jet was hit by Pakistan Air Force jets near the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir and it crashed in Pakistani territory.

Image result for Retreat Ceremony at India-Pakistan border axed for Friday

The impressive Retreat Ceremony attracts up to 15,000 people at the mini-stadium-like ‘Viewers’ Gallery’ when border guards of both countries lower their respective national flags at sunset and mark the closure of the border gates for the night.

The impressive ceremony, which has an energetic and patriotic flavour to it, is conducted jointly by BSF troopers, including women personnel, on the Attari side (in India) and Pakistan Rangers on the Wagah side (in Pakistan) every evening before sunset.

Attari is around 30 km from Amritsar.


Rahul Gandhi: Accepting Less Than Scrapping Farm Laws Will Be Deceit To Farmers



The Congress has stepped up the demand of immediately scrapping the farm laws in the wake of the farmers’ protest in the national capital. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet,”Accepting less than scrapping of three black farm laws will be deceit to farmers and the country.”

The Congress leader’s reaction comes even as the meeting between the farmers and the government is going on to resolve the issue.

Talks between the Centre and over 34 farmer union representatives has started here, even as the farmers protest entered the eighth straight day with thousands sitting on different Delhi borders blocking essential supply chains to the city.

Like the previous round of talks held on December 1, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar and Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister Piyush Goyal are leading the meeting, which is expected to play a major role in farmers’ future course of action on whether they would continue the protest or withdraw it.

The Bharatiya Kisan Union, Bharatiya Kisan Sanyukta Morcha and Krantikari Kisan Union are among over the 34 farm union representatives taking part in the meeting, which started around 12.30 p.m.

The fourth round of meetings with the farmer leaders started at Vigyan Bhawan after the earlier talks remained inconclusive on December 1.

In the last meeting, the farmers’ representatives had unanimously rejected the Centre’s proposal of a special committee to resolve concerns over the farm laws.

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