A Wagah-type parade is not going to be held at the Indo-Bangla border at Dawki (Meghalaya) any time soon because the Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) have sought more time and the infrastructure to hold such parade is just not there.
A report appearing in the The Assam Tribune quoted the Inspector General, I Mohanti of Meghalaya Frontier, as saying that there has been a lot of enthusiasm and demand for holding a “Wagah-type” parade at the Eastern sector with Bangladesh, but it may take some time to hold such a “massive and spectacular parade”.
“What we are talking about is not a road-show. It’s a massive parade. If 7,000 odd people turn up every day to see the parade, where is the infrastructure? We need gallery for so many people and also other basic amenities like restaurants and hotels for these people,” the IG reasoned.
Talks are on to hold a Wagah-type parade at Dawki, West Jaintia Hills and in Kilapara, West Garo Hills. Both the spots at the Indo-Bangla border in Meghalaya have been identified for their historical significance. During the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War, nine BSF soldiers held the outpost at Kilapara and denied advance of Pakistani troops, which later proved crucial in the war. Dawki, on the other hand, is a historical trading route between the two nations.
Mohanti said both India and Bangladesh do accord significance to these two areas. “There was a War memorial built in Kilapara few years back and in Dawki the Integrated Check Gate is being built, but I think the parade may take some more time to be held,” he added.
According to the Border Security Guard (BSF), the State Government would stand to gain tremendously once the parades are held because on a daily basis thousands of tourists would come to witness it.
“The State Government must allocate the land at Dawki and Kilapara to appropriate agencies so that the requisite infrastructure could be built. Until that is done we have been holding small parades during important events such as Independence and Republic Days,” Mohanti informed. On the other hand, the BGB said that it would need some time to hold the parade. They too have issues relating to infrastructure.