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From INA Veterans to Sankhnaad, This Republic Day, Witness These Six Firsts

The Army parade will begin at 10 am following the Investiture Ceremony and the National Salute. But, this year’s Republic Day parade will witness a series of firsts.

Ahona Sengupta | News18.com

Updated:January 26, 2019, 12:01 AM IST
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From INA Veterans to Sankhnaad, This Republic Day, Witness These Six Firsts
Security forces personnel guard at Rajpath on the eve of Republic Day parade in New Delhi. (Image: PTI)
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New Delhi: India will celebrate its 70th Republic Day on Saturday with a dazzling display of 'Nari Shakti', led by the Assam Rifles contingent.

The Army parade will begin at 10 am following the Investiture Ceremony and the National Salute. But, This year’s Republic Day parade will witness a series of firsts.

All-men Contingent Led by Lady Officer

Lt Bhavana Kasturi will lead a contingent of the India Army Service Corps' and Capt Bhavna Syal, a third-generation officer in the armed forces, will front the transportable satellite terminal's contingent. Lt. Kasturi is the Contingent Commander of Indian Army Service Corps who is set to create history by becoming the first woman ever to lead all men Army contingent in the history of India.

Motorcycle Stunts Led by Lady Officer

A lone woman officer will exhibit bike stunts on Rajpath as part of the iconic daredevil team. In a first, the motorcycle display by Corps of Signal, will be led by lady officer Captain Shikha this year. The country will witness her performing extraordinary stunts on a moving bike and leading the contingent.

An All-women Contingent of the Assam Rifles

Assam Rifles, India’s oldest para military force, will create history on this Republic Day buy parading an all-women’s contingent down the Rajpath. The North-east has contributed to about 33 per cent of the lady soldiers in the Indian Army.

Among the women who will be marching down the Rajpath, few are kin of slain soldiers who were induted in the Army.

Parade of INA Veterans

Over 70 years after independence, in a first, four personnel of the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose's Indian National Army (INA) would march on the Republic Day parade this year.

The four soldiers are aged between 97 and 100. Bhagmal, the senior-most soldier, is 100-year-old and is a resident of Manesar, Haryana. He had joined and fought for the INA in 1942.

Laltiram (98), Parmanand (99) and Hira Singh (97) are the other three who will join Bhagmal on Saturday.

ULHs Part of the Weapons Display

The Indian Army will put on show the newly-inducted ultra light howitzers M777 and K9 Vajra. The artillery gun system M777 American Ultra Light Howitzers, recently acquired from the US and K9 Vajra, a self-propelled artillery gun will be new additions this year. Vajra is a symbol of the prime minister's Make in India initiative.

Martial Tune Sankhnaad

For the first time, the martial tune created for the Indian Army, Sankhnaad will be played. Martial tunes are patriotic tunes played during times of war in order to induce a sense of prowess in the soldiers and boost their morale.
| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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