New Delhi: Marching contingents of country’s three exclusive border guarding forces will be missing in action, and also a place in history, as they will not be walking the Rajpath this Republic Day event that showcases the defense and security prowess of the country.
Officials said the contingents of Sino-India border- guarding force ITBP, Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan frontier force SSB, and the largest amongst them– the BSF, that secures fronts with Pakistan and Bangladesh– have not been asked to join the preparations till now, despite only about 20 days remaining for the event.
For the Indo-Tibetan Border Police and the Sashastra Seema Bal, the absence will be for the second straight year as their contingents were not included even during the last January 26 event, making it the first time that these two Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) did not participate in the Republic Day parade.
A senior paramilitary commander, based at its headquarters here, said a number of representations and requests have been made to the Union Home Ministry to take up the matter with the Ministry of Defense. But they are still to hear a positive news till now.
“The men and women of these forces feel neglected and demoralized that they will not be able to march the Rajpath which is a matter of pride for any personnel in uniform. They will lose their place in the history.”
“None of the three border guarding forces of the country has been asked to join the parade practice that is going on at Rajpath,” the official said.
While the SSB has sent back its contingent to the barracks in border areas after they came here to participate in the Raising Day event of the force on December 19, the ITBP and BSF have not even chosen their squads as they have got no permission to join the preparations which used to come well in time earlier, they said.
The Border Security Force, however, will have its famed camel contingent and the mounted band team that will amble down from the citadel of power at Raisina Hills to the 17th century-built monument Red Fort on January 26.
It will also have the Enfield Bullet bike-borne ‘Janbaaz’ (daredevils) team that will lap up the parade.
For the first time in the history of these celebrations, the ‘black cat’ commandos of the elite counter-terror force NSG may participate in the event.
Till now, the troops of Army’s Special Forces were the only commando force to take part in the Rajpath during January 26 celebrations.
CRPF’s special anti-riot and blue duangree wearing unit RAF and the Central Industrial Security Force are expected to march the Rajpath along with similar teams from Delhi Police and the Railway Protection Force.