Curtain Raiser Of Independence Day Celebrations – 15 Aug 2020 At Red Fort

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will lead the nation in celebrating the 74th Independence Day at the majestic Red Fort here tomorrow. He will unfurl the National Flag and deliver the customary Address to the Nation from the ramparts of the iconic monument.

On his arrival at 0718 Hours in front of Lahore Gate of Red Fort, Shri Narendra Modi will be received by the Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh and Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar.

The Defence Secretary will introduce the General Officer Commanding (GoC), Delhi Area, Lieutenant Gen Vijay Kumar Mishra to the Prime Minister. The GoC Delhi Area will then conduct the Prime Minister to the Saluting Base where a combined Inter-Services and Police Guards will present general salute to Shri Narendra Modi. Thereafter, the Prime Minister will inspect the Guard of Honour.

The Guard of Honour contingent for the Prime Minister will consist of one officer and 24 men each from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Delhi Police. The Guard of Honour will be positioned directly in front of the National Flag across the moat below the ramparts.

This year, Army being the coordinating Service, the Guard of Honour will be commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Gaurav S Yewalkar. Army Contingent in the Prime Minister’s Guard will be commanded by Major Palvinder Grewal, the Navy contingent by Lieutenant Commander K V R Reddy, while Squadron Leader Vikas Kumar will lead the Air Force contingent and the Delhi Police contingent by Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Shri Jitender Kumar Meena.

The Second battalion of Garhwal Rifles, was raised on 01 March 1901 at Lansdowne under the able stewardship of Lieutenant Colonel JT Evatt. It is one of the finest battalions of Indian Army with a glorious and illustrious service history spanning more than a century. The battalion has won Eleven Battle Honours in World War I and World War II, which is splendid by any standards.

Post-Independence, the battalion took active participation in the 1965 War. It got the opportunity to serve in Operation Rakshak from 1994 to 1996 and between 2005 and 2007. The battalion eliminated more than 80 terrorists.

After inspecting the Guard of Honour, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will proceed to the ramparts of the Red Fort where he will be greeted by Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army Staff General M M Naravane, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria. The GoC Delhi area will conduct the Prime Minister to the dais on the rampart to unfurl the National Flag. 

On unfurling the National Flag by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the National Guard will give ‘Rashtriya Salute’ to the National Flag. The Army Grenadiers Regimental Centre Military Band will play the National Anthem during unfurling of the National Flag and the ‘Rashritya Salute’. All Service personnel in uniform will stand & salute, the rest will be requested to stand and give respect to the National Flag. The Band will be commanded by Subedar Major Abdul Gani.

Major Shweta Pandey will assist the Prime Minister in unfurling the National Flag. The unfurling of the tri-colour will synchronise with the 21 Gun Salute fired by the valiant gunners of the elite 2233 Field Battery (Ceremonial). The ceremonial battery will be commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Jitendra Singh Mehta and the Gun Position Officer will be Naib Subedar (AIG) Anil Chand.

The National Flag Guard comprising 32 men and one officer each from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Delhi Police will present Rashtriya Salute at the time of unfurling of the National Flag by the Prime Minister. Major Surya Prakash from the Army will be in command of this Inter-Services Guard and Police Guard. The Naval Contingent for the National Flag Guard will be commanded by Lieutenant Commander Vivek Tingloo, Air Force contingent by Squadron Leader Mayank Abhishek and Delhi Police contingent by Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Shri Sudhanshu Dhama.

The Army contingent for the National Flag Guard is drawn from the 5th Battalion of the First Gorkha Rifles. The elite 5th Battalion of the First Gorkha Rifles, was initially raised in January 1942 at Dharamshala and was later demobilised in December 1946. It was re-raised on 01 January 1965 at Solan (Himachal Pradesh).

The battalion proved its mettle during ‘Operation Cactus Lity’ in East Pakistan in 1971 and was awarded with three Mahavir Chakras and two Vir Chakras for that. The Battalion also had an opportunity to serve for the United Nation Mission in Sudan from 2008 to 2009. The battalion is presently performing the honourable duty of Ceremonial Army Guard to the President of India.

After  unfurling the National Flag, the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will address the nation. After the speech of the Prime Minister is over, the National Cadet Corps cadets will sing the National Anthem. All present will be requested to stand at their seat and join the singing of the National Anthem. Service Persons in uniform will not be required to salute at this moment. 

On this festival of national fervour, 500 NCC cadets (Army, Navy and Air Force) from different schools will be taking part.

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