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Republic Day 2016: Delhi turns into a fortress; French soldiers, Indian Army’s dog squad key attractions at Rajpath

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New Delhi :India’s military prowess and achievements in different fields, state-of-the-art defence, diverse cultural and social traditions and the government’s emphasis on self-reliance and indigenisation will be showcased at the Rajpath on the country’s 67th Republic Day today.

Francois Hollande, the President of France, will be the Chief Guest of the parade.

For the first time in the history of Republic Day parades, a 76-member French Army contingent led by a French military band comprising 48 musicians, will march on Rajpath and present a ceremonial salute to the President of India.

After a gap of 26 years, an Army dog squad drawn from the Remount Veterinary Corps (RVC) will also take part, along with their handlers.

Sticking to the 66-year-old tradition of the Republic Day celebrations, the colourful BSF Camel Regiment consisting of 56 camels led by Deputy Commandant Kuldeep J Choudhary will also march on the Rajpath.

For the first time, the parade will see an ex-servicemen tableau where Army veterans will showcase their role in nation building.

The Indian Army’s missile firing capability T-90 “Bhishma” tank, Infantry Combat Vehicle BMP II (Sarath), Mobile Autonomous Launcher of the BrahMos Missile System, Akash Weapon System, Smerch Launcher Vehicles and Integrated Communication Electronic Warfare System (ICEWS) will be the main draw in the mechanised columns.

An Indian Air Force tableau, with the theme “Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Operations by IAF: In Service of the Nation and Beyond” will showcase models of C-17 Globemaster, C-130 Hercules and MI-17V5 aircraft, emphasising its use in the Force’s rescue and relief operations in Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Yemen and Nepal.
The Indian Navy’s tableau will have the theme “Empowering India through Maritime security and Indigenisation” displaying flight deck operations on the new aircraft carrier “Vikrant”, under construction at the Kochi Shipyard, and the indigenously constructed submarine “Kalvari” by Mazagaon Dock, Mumbai, having a “Made in India” tag on them.

The parade ceremony will commence at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lead the nation in paying homage to martyrs by laying a wreath.

PTI

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