Republic Day Parade 2019: Women power will be on full display during the 70th Republic Day parade.
New Delhi: A spectacular display of India's military might, complete with a grand parade of the armed forces and a majestic flypast by fighter jets of the Air Force, marked the 70th Republic Day celebrations at Delhi's Rajpath today. More than 20 tableaux of the states and central government and colourful cultural performances by children represented the country's soft power. Among the various VIPs and foreign dignitaries who attended the event was chief guest Cyril Ramaphosa, the president of South Africa. The city has been under a security blanket since the arrest of two suspected Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists on Thursday - 25,000 policemen have been deployed.
Here are the top 10 updates on Republic Day 2019:
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was in a yellowish orange turban, started the celebrations with a tribute to the martyrs at the Amar Jawan Jyoti in Delhi's India Gate in presence of Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and the three service chiefs.
- PM Modi was among the first to greet the people on the Republic Day. "Happy Republic Day to all fellow Indians," his tweet read. Greetings also came from various ministers, including Union Minister Union Minister Arun Jaitley, who is recuperating after a surgery in the US.
- The overall theme for the Republic Day celebrations this year is the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The tableaux of many states are themed on the Father of the Nation.
- Woman power was on dazzling display at the parade, with an all-women Assam Rifles contingent in the lead and a woman officer being part of the team performing bike stunts. Contingents of the Navy, Army Services Corps and a unit of Corps of Signals were led by women officers.
- Chief guest Cyril Ramaphosa is accompanied by first lady Dr Tshepo Motsepe and a high-level delegation, including nine ministers, senior officials and a 50-member business contingent, who are on a two-day visit. This is Mr Ramaphosa's first India tour as the head of the state.
- Most of the central ministers and opposition leaders attended the event. Former prime ministers Manmohan Singh and Deve Gowda were among those present on the occasion.
- Four Indian National Army (INA) veterans, all aged over 90 years, are participating in the parade for the first time. The other highlights include the artillery gun system M777 American Ultra-Light Howitzers, the Main Battle Tank (MBT) T-90 and the Made-in-India Akash Weapon System.
- The Jallianwala Bagh massacre, which took place on Baisakhi day in 1919, will be the theme of the Punjab tableau. It will be the third time in a row that Punjab is participating in the Republic Day parade.
- Two alleged Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) members were arrested on charges of planning terror strikes in the national capital during Republic Day celebrations, Delhi Police officials said on Thursday. Thousands of police personnel have been deployed in the city.
- The Delhi Metro trains is partially restricted as part of the security arrangements, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation said. The entry and exit points at Central Secretariat and Udyog Bhawan Metro stations will remain closed between 6 am and 12 noon. The Patel Chowk and Lok Kalyan Marg Metro stations will remain closed from 8.45 am to 12 pm.
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