Sheikh Imran Bashir
Agence India Press
New Delhi: As India celebrates its 63rd republic day, the country displays military might at Rajpath, New Delhi. The celebration of India’s sovereignty was graced by Prime Minister of Thailand, Yingluck Shinawatra. A spectacular display of tableaux, vibrant performances by student’s ad thousands of servicemen from the armed forces was in full battle regalia. The country’s capital transformed into a sea of colour, as the march from Raisina Hills to the Red Fort unfolded.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and military officials laid wreaths at a memorial for those who gave their lives to defend the nation.
Some 25,000 security personnel guarded the capital against possible attacks from militant groups.
Republic Day commemorates the adoption of a democratic constitution on January 26, 1950.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh paid a solemn tribute to soldiers who have sacrificed their lives for the nation by laying a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate.
Prior to the start of the 63rd Republic Day parade showcasing India’s military might and cultural diversity, Manmohan Singh drove to the tomb of the unknown soldier — marked by a reversed rifle, standing on its barrel and crested by a soldier’s helmet.
After the prime minister laid the floral wreath, the guard commander gave salute and buglers played the “Last Post” — rendered at military funerals and ceremonies commemorating those who have died in war.
Along with everyone, Manmohan Singh observed a two-minute silence.
Lieutenant Navdeep Singh, who displayed his indomitable spirit, determination and exceptional bravery while putting down the terrorists and making the supreme sacrifice for the nation, on Thursday conferred with the highest gallantry award.
Lieutenant Navdeep Singh laid down his life fighting terrorists during an anti-infiltration operation along LOC in Gurez Sector of north Kashmir. He was awarded the Ashok Chakra on the Republic Day.
President Pratibha Patil presented the medal to the officer posthumously at the Republic Day parade in capital on Thursday.
Earlier, the President approved awards of 368 Gallantry and other Defence decorations to Armed Forces personnel and others on the eve of the 63rd Republic Day Celebrations.
This includes one Ashoka Chakra, three Kirti Chakras, 16 Shaurya Chakras, three Bar to Sena Medals (Gallantry), 73 Sena Medals (Gallantry), three Nao Sena Medals (Gallantry), two Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry), 28 Param Vishisht Seva Medals, one Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, six Bar to Ati Vishisht Seva Medals, 45 Ati Vishisht Seva Medals, four Yudh Seva Medal, three Bar to Sena Medals (Devotion to Duty), 37 Sena Medals (Devotion to Duty), eight Nao Sena Medals (Devotion to Duty), 14 Vayu Sena Medals (Devotion to Duty), six Bar to Vishisht Seva Medals and 115 Vishisht Seva Medals.
In addition a total of three Mention-In-Despatches have also been announced for participating in Operation Rakshak.
Meanwhile, tight security was in place on Thursday with a parade by its armed forces here.
Around 25,000 security personnel, including paramilitaries, were deployed to keep a tight vigil across the capital. CCTV cameras and iron and steel barricades were set up at key thoroughfares and there was also a random check of vehicles and passengers to prevent any untoward incident.
Security teams were seen patrolling in market areas, railway stations, metro stations and bus terminals. Police checked the luggage of passengers travelling by public transport.
Mobile teams, anti-aircraft guns and sharpshooters of the National Security Guards (NSG) were also deployed.
A strong and resurgent India will be celebrating its 63rd Republic Day. This year’s grand parade in the national capital will highlight the nation’s achievements in various fields along with the military prowess, scintillating display of air power as also the country’s rich and diverse cultural heritage displaying ‘unity in diversity’. (AIP News)
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