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Central forces shed the ‘Sam Browne’ belt

Central police and paramilitary forces have finally shed a colonial uniform accessory–the Sam Browne belt-- a leather belt with a supporting strap that passes over the right shoulder, worn during ceremonial or martial events.

The belt, called the cross belt in police lexicon, was named after British army officer Sam Browne, who served in India in the 19th century. It was introduced for police and Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) officers under the Indian Police Service (Uniform) Rules, 1954.

While the armed forces and a number of paramilitary forces (CAPFs) have shed its use gradually over the time, the 1.47-lakh strong CISF is the last to jettison this piece accoutrement of the uniform. "The issue regarding use of Sam Browne belt by the officers has been examined in detail.... It has been observed that armed forces and other CAPFs have already dispensed with wearing the cross belt,” the force said in a recent circular to all its field formations in the country, accessed by PTI.

"In view of the above, it has been decided to do away with the wearing of Sam Browne belt by the Central Industrial Security Force officers with immediate effect, except by the personnel who have to carry swords on ceremonial occasions," the force said.
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