Agni missing for third time at parade

In focus: Military prowess was represented by T-90 Bhishma tank, BrahMos missiles

Agni missing for third time at parade

As India showcased its military might and a kaleidoscope of its rich cultural vibrancy in a majestic parade to mark the 67th Republic Day, the defence ministry decided not to flaunt its nuclear capable missiles before the French President Francois Hollande.

For the third time in a row, the defence ministry didn’t display the Agni series of long range nuke capable missiles, which was a regular feature in the Republic Day parade till a few years ago.

Instead, the military prowess was represented by T-90 Bhishma tank, BrahMos cruise missiles, Akash and Smerch missile systems besides the infantry combat vehicles.

The mechanised column was shortened and the number of marching contingents were cut down to reduce the parade time by about 20 minutes. Last time, India displayed the inter-continental ballistic missile Agni-V was in 2013 when the chief guest was Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.

In the next two editions, Agni series of missiles were not showcased before Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US President Barack Obama.

Sticking to the tradition, the BSF camel regiment once again enthralled the audience while the motorcycle display team of Corps of Signals performed hair-raising stunts.

Led by Lt General Rajan Ravindran, General Officer Commanding, Delhi Area, troops from the 61st Cavalry, the Parachute Regiment, the Corps of Signals, the Rajput Regiment, the Garhwal Rifles, the Assam Regiment, 11 Gorkha Rifles paraded on the Rajpath followed by the contingents from Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard.

Tableaux from 17 states and six central departments presented India’s rich historical, architectural and cultural heritage.

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