Top sportspersons, new weapon systems to be part of RD parade

Last Updated 25 January 2010, 13:02 IST

Other sportspersons to accompany the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports tableaux would be former hockey captains Ajitpal Singh and Zafar Iqbal, shooter Samresh Jung, and swimmer Khajan Singh, a Defence Ministry spokesperson said said today.
"A strong and resurgent India will be celebrating Republic Day tomorrow. This year’s parade will highlight the nation’s achievements in various fields, the military prowess, scintillating display of air power as also country’s rich and diverse cultural heritage," he added.

One of the highlights will be 'Arjun' Main Battle Tank as it will be brought to the parade for the first time by the Army, which inducted the first regiment equipped with it last year.
The other weaponry to be showcased this year include the 'Smerch' Multiple Launch Rocket System bought from Russia in 2007, Armoured Engineer Recce Vehicle, Sarvatra Bridge, Electronic Warfare System, Samyukta, ICV BMP-II 'Sarath', Ambulance Tracked and ALH 'Dhruv'.

The DRDO would be represented in the parade by its indigenous 'Tejas' Light Combat Aircraft, Agni-III Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile, 'Shourya' Surface-to-Surface Strategic Missile and the Rohini Radar.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will lay a wreath before the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate to pay homage to martyrs.
President Pratibha Patil will confer Ashok Chakras on Major D Sreeram Kumar of 39 Assam Rifles, Major Mohit Sharma (posthumous) of 1st Battalion, The Parachute Regiment (Special Forces) and Havildar Rajesh Kumar (posthumous) of 11th Battalion, The Rajputana Rifles.

She will also take the salute from the troops marching down Rajpath as part of the parade in the presence of this year's chief guest, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.

The parade will be commanded by Lt Gen K J S Oberoi, the Army's Delhi Area Commander, with Brig Kuldip Singh, the Deputy Area Commander, as his second-in-command.
Param Vir Chakra winners Subedar Major (honorary captain) Bana Singh (retd), Havildar Sanjay Kumar of 13 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles, and Havildar Yogendra Singh Yadav of 18 Grenadiers, and Ashok Chakra winners Lt Col Jas Ram Singh (retd), Brig C A Pithawalla, Commander of the 3 Sector Rashtriya Rifles and Hony Naib Subedar Chhering Mutup (retd) will follow the Deputy Parade Commander on jeeps.

The marching contingents will include Army horse-mounted columns of the 61st Cavalry, the Brigade of the Guards, Madras Regiment, Jat Regiment, Sikh Regiment, Dogra Regiment, Bihar Regiment, Gorkha Regiment and the Territorial Army, followed by Navy and Air Force contingents.

The paramilitary and other auxiliary civil forces contingents from Border Security Force, Assam Rifles, Coast Guard, Central Reserve Police Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Central Industrial Security Force, Sashastra Seema Bal, Railway Protection Force, Delhi Police, National Cadet Corps and National Service Scheme would follow.

The camel-mounted band of the BSF will be an added attraction to the parade. Tableaux from 21 states and Central Ministries and departments will present a varied historical, architectural and cultural heritage of the country.

'Jaanbaz', the motorcycle display by the Border Security Force will be another major attraction of the parade. They will perform breathtaking stunts in a synchronised and synergistic display of mind, body and machine coordination.

Nineteen of the 21 children selected for the National Bravery Award this year will also participate in the parade. Two others had won the award posthumously.
In the children’s pageant, 750 boys and girls drawn from Kamal Model Senior Secondary School, Mohan Garden, Vandana International School, Dwarka, Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya Yamuna Vihar, Government Girls’ Senior Secondary School, Maujpur, Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya Samlaka, Delhi and North-East Zone Cultural Centre, Dimapur will present cultural programmes.

The grand finale of the parade is expected to be a spectacular flypast by the IAF, with the AWACS, purchased from Israel and inducted last year, participating in the Parade for the first time along with two Sukhois.
An IL-78 flanked by two AN-32 and two Dornier will lead the flypast with five each of Jaguars and MiG-29s following.
The breathtaking 'Trishul' formation comprising three Su-30 MKI would fly over Rajpath and once in front of the saluting dais, the Su-30MKI aircraft at the centre would carry out various manoeuvres.

(Published 25 January 2010, 12:33 IST)

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