New Delhi, Jan 29 (PTI) The contingent of the Sino-India border guarding force ITBP was adjudged the best among all paramilitary and auxiliary forces that marched down the majestic Rajpath on Republic Day. Also Read - OCI Cardholders Need Permission For Tabligh, Journalistic Activities: Centre Issues Fresh Guidelines

Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) marchers made a return to the national event after two years and the 148-member squad was led by Assistant Commandant Akshay Deshmukh. Also Read - COVID-19: Centre, States Discuss Fresh Spurt in Cases; Nationwide Lockdown on Cards Again?

“The contingent represented all formations of the force comprising members from almost all units,” ITBP spokesperson second-in-command Vivek K Pandey said. Also Read - Republic Day Violence: Delhi Court Sends Actor-Activist Deep Sidhu To 14-Day Judicial Custody

Pandey said the contingent engaged in 12-14 hours of rigorous practice in the run-up to the parade on January 26.

“Special yoga, meditation and physical training were also included in the two-month long preparation capsule for the marchers,” he said.

The winners’ trophy is expected to be handed over to the force by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman soon.

The about 90,000-personnel force has won the title 6 times in the past.

The foot contingent of the force was followed by the band team. The ITBP tableau, depicting its duties and equipment used along the China border, featured in the parade after 20 years.

The paramilitary, under the Home Ministry, is primarily tasked to guard the 3,488-km-long China border. It renders various duties in the internal security domain, including anti-Naxal operations.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.