HISTORY OF PETRAPOLE-BENAPOLE
During the Director General Level Talks held in March, 2013 at New Delhi between Border Security Force and Border Guards Bangladesh, it was decided to commence Joint Retreat Ceremony at Integrated Check Posts (ICP) Benapole-Petrapole in the first phase and subsequently at Burimari-Changrabands, Akhaura-Agartala and Banglabandha-Phulbari, between troops of BSF & BGB.
Petrapole-Benapole Joint Retreat Ceremony was inaugurated on 6 November 2013 by the then Home Minister at ICP Petrapole in the presence of Home Minister of Bangladesh. It is a daily military exercise similar to the Attari-Wagah Border Ceremony and engages soldiers of Border Security Force (India) and the Border Guard Bangladesh.
The Petrapole-Benapole Border Ceremony takes place every evening from 1630–1700 hrs. The timings of Joint Retreat Ceremony may vary as per timings of sunset. This Joint Retreat Ceremony of 30 minutes resulting in lowering of national flags of India and Bangladesh is jointly conducted by BSF (Border Security Force) and BGB (Border Guard Bangladesh).
The "Attari-Wagah of the East" as it is known, the Petrapole-Benapole Border Ceremony starts off with opening of gates on India and Bangladesh side. After a quick friendly handshake between the BSF and BGB personnel, the men march into on the International Boundary in their respective ceremonial dresses.
The Petrapole Retreat Ceremony has taken inspiration from the much popular Attari-Wagah Border ceremony. Ceremonial theatrics by the BSF and BGB are at the heart of the ceremony and is attended by the officials and general public including tourists of both the countries. The ceremonial parade ends before sunset and the flags of either country are lowered. The gates on either side of the border are closed for the day.
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