For first time in 66 years, no camel contingent at R-Day parade

Updated - September 23, 2016 01:00 am IST

Published - January 17, 2016 06:47 pm IST - New Delhi

The BSF's camel contingent first became a part of the Republic Day parade in 1976. File photo

The BSF's camel contingent first became a part of the Republic Day parade in 1976. File photo

For the first time in the history of the Republic Day celebrations, the iconic Border Security Force (BSF) camel contingent will not be ambling down the Rajpath in Delhi on January 26.

“While the contingent is in Delhi since the last few months, it has not been included in the rehearsals as there are no official orders issued in this regard,” officials said.

The camel contingent first became a part of the national festival celebration in 1976 after it replaced a similar squad of the Army, which had been participating in the Republic Day parade since the first such event in 1950.

“The BSF camel contingent has since been the intrinsic part of the parade at Rajpath on every January 26. There are two teams, which take part in the event, the 54-member mounted contingent and the 36-member band,” a senior official said.

While the first contingent showcases smartly-dressed BSF guards with weapons riding camels, the second follows with bandsmen in beautiful multi-colour dresses on the back of camels playing martial music.

Officials said the parade this time is undergoing a number of changes such as exclusion of paramilitary forces like ITBP, CISF and SSB, whereas some new features have been added to it, including the dogs squad contingent of the Army and a team of French soldiers.

“The camel contingent may also not be a part of the Beating the Retreat ceremony to be held on January 29, where they stand along the ramparts of the North and South blocks on Raisina Hill,” officials said.

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