In a first, PM to visit National War Memorial before Republic Day Parade

During the Republic Day Parade this year, for the first time, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay a wreath at the National War Memorial before the parade. This would also be the first time that the Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat would attend the Republic Day parade and welcome the Prime Minister along with the three defence chiefs.

“For the first time, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay a wreath at the National War Memorial on the Republic Day where he would be received by the Chief of Defence Staff and the three Services Chiefs,” said Republic Day Deputy Commander Major General Alok Kakkar told . The National War Memorial was inaugurated last year in February by the Prime Minister. The national war memorial has been built in memory of the Indian soldiers who laid down lives for the country in the post-independence era.

The post of Chief of Defence Staff was created last month by the Narendra Modi government and Gen Rawat was appointed as the first officer to hold the position. This is his first Republic Day Parade after his appointment. On the parade, Kakkar said 16 marching contingents from Army, Navy, Air Force and Paramilitary forces will take part in the Parade along with 31 bands overall.

Kakkar said the Dhanush artillery gun from the Army and the Apache and Chinook helicopters from the Air Force would be the new feature at the parade this year. He further stated that there will be no separate contingents for women in the parade.”Women will be taking part in all marching contingents, but there are no separate contingents for women in the parade,” said the General.

Meanwhile, the Army Air Defence Corps will for the first time take part as a marching contingent while the Signal Corps contingent would be led by Captain Tanya Shergill who is a fourth Generation Army officer. The Parachute Regiment (Special Forces) are also returning to the Republic Day Parade after a gap of four years.

Major Nikhil Maurya and Major Tarun Rathee of the Special Forces will lead the ‘hell march’ conducted during the parade.