Republic Day 2019 Parade Latest Updates: The celebration of India’s 70 Republic Day on Saturday began at New Delhi with Prime Minister Narendra Modi laying a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti as a mark of homage to the martyrs. The chief guest for this year’s Republic Day parade is President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa. Besides, 58 tribal guests from various parts of the country became a witness to the 90-minute Republic Day parade.
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The Republic Day 2019 parade commenced from Vijay Chowk at 9.50 AM and proceeded towards Rajpath, ‘C’ Hexagon, Tilak Marg, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, Netaji Subhash Marg, to culminate at Red Fort. The 90-minute parade was commanded by Lieutenant General Asit Mistry, General Officer Commanding, Headquarters Delhi Area. Major General Rajpal Punia, Chief of Staff, Headquarters Delhi Area was the parade Second-in-Command.
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This year, the parade witnessed many firsts. Major Khusboo Kanwar led an all women marching contingent of the Assam Rifles, participating in the ceremony for the first time. The veterans of Indian National Army (INA) – Parmanand, Lalti Ram, Hira Singh and Bhagmal – who fought valiantly against the imperial forces also took part in Republic Day parade. Sankhnaad, a martial tune created for the Indian Armed forces was also played for the first time. Lieutenant Bhavana Kasturi, Contingent commander, army service corps became the first woman to script history by leading all men army contingent.
The Republic Day parade also witnessed 22 Tableaux of various states and departments with the theme –150 years of Mahatma Gandhi. The military might of India was also displayed during the ceremony. M-77 A2 Ultra light Howitzer (ULH), K9 Vajra T and two projects of Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO)– Medium range surface to air missile, Arjun armoured Rec and Repair Vehicle were showcased. 16 marching contingents from Armed forces, Para Military forces, Delhi police, NCC, NSS along with 16 bands also participated in the parade.
Meanwhile, security was tightened in and around the national capital in the wake of Republic Day 2019 celebrations. women commandos, mobile hit teams, anti-aircraft guns and sharpshooters were deployed at strategic locations to guard the eight-km-long parade route. Parakram vans, manned by NSG-trained commandos, carried out patrol to ensure that security is not jeopardised. Thirty six women commandos of Delhi Police’s Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) unit, who were formally inducted in August last year, were also a part of the security arrangements.