In pics: BSF women bikers make debut at the 69th Republic Day parade
Signifying India’s fast growing strategic ties with ASEAN, leaders of all the 10 countries of the powerful bloc attended the parade at Rajpath which showcased the country’s military might and cultural diversity.india Updated: Jan 26, 2018 13:11 IST
Amid an unprecedented security cover, celebrations for the 69th Republic Day began on the Rajpath in New Delhi on Friday in the presence of the leaders of 10 ASEAN nations who are attending the event as chief guests.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid his tributes to the martyrs by laying a wreath at Amar Jawan Jyoti in the presence of Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and the three service chiefs.
Later Modi, wearing a saffron, red and green coloured safa, reached the Rajpath and received and greeted President Ram Nath Kovind.
Most of the ministers of the Modi government including Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Health Minister J P Nadda, Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan were among those present on the occasion.
BJP president Amit Shah was present too.
The ASEAN leaders, in New Delhi to attend the India-ASEAN Commemorative Summit, are the chief guests at the Republic Day parade which was termed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as “historic and unprecedented”.
Late Air Force Commando Jyoti Prakash Nirala, who lost his life in Bandipora encounter, was honoured with Ashoka Chakra on Friday.
The Indian Army’s T-90 tank (Bhishma), Ballway Machine Pikate (II/IIK), Brahmos Missile System, Weapon Locating Radar (Swathi), Bridge Laying Tank T-72, Mobile Base Transceiver Station and Akash Weapon System were also showcased at the parade.
Twenty-three tableaux, including those representing various states, ministries, the All India Radio (AIR) among others, roll down the Rajpath.
Fifteen of the 18 children who won the National Bravery Award also participated in the parade. Three children, including two girls, have received the award posthumously. Of the 18 children, seven are girls and 11 are boys.
The main highlight of the spectacle was the the performance by the Women’s Motor Cycle team, Seema Bhawani, of Border Security Force, which was raised at Central School of Motor Transport, BSF Academy Tekanpur on October 20, 2016. The BSF motorcycle team is led by sub-inspector Stanzin Noryang.
The grand finale of the parade was a spectacular flypast by MI-17 and RUDRA armed helicopters along with a number of IAF aircraft.