Independence Day celebrations: Here’s how India will celebrate 15 August

Independence Day 2019: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will unfurl the National Flag at Red Fort.

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The nation is celebrating the 73rd Independence Day at Red Fort on Thursday.

Independence Day 2019: The nation is celebrating the 73rd Independence Day at Red Fort on Thursday, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will unfurl the National Flag this will be followed by his customary address to the nation.

On his arrival at Lahore Gate of Red Fort, he will be received by the defence minister Rajnath Singh, minister of state for Defence Shripad Naik and Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra.

According to the Ministry of Defence (MoD), the defence secretary Mitra will introduce the General Officer Commanding, Delhi Area, Lt Gen Asit Mistry to the Prime Minister.  Mistry will then escort him to the saluting base where a combined Inter-Services and Police Guards will present a general salute to the Prime Minister; this will be followed by him inspecting the Guard of Honour.

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

The Guard of Honour will be commanded by Wg Cdr Anuj Bharadwaj, as this year the Indian Air Force (IAF) is the coordinating Service, the Army Contingent will be commanded by Major Laishram Tony Singh, and the naval contingent by Lt Cdr Prashanth Prabhakar.  And, the IAF contingent will be led by Sqn Ldr S B Gowda and the Delhi Police contingent by Additional DCP Bikram HM Meena.

This year the Army contingent has been drawn from the 2 Garhwal Rifles, the 2nd Battalion of Garhwal Rifles, was raised on March 01, 1901 at Lansdowne.

After inspecting the Guard of Honour,  Modi will proceed to the ramparts of the Red Fort where he will be welcomed by the defence minister Rajnath Singh,  Minister of Defence for Defence Shripad Naik, and the three service chiefs.

The GOC Delhi area will escort Modi to the dais to unfurl the National Flag, with the IAF band playing the National Anthem and the National Guard presenting ‘Rashtriya Salute’.

READ: Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, IAF pilot who shot down Pak jet, may get Vir Chakra on Independence Day

The IAF band is being commanded by Junior Warrant Officer Pankaj Babu. And, Modi will be assisted by Flying Officer Preetam Sangwan in the unfurling of the National Flag, two officers of the IAF Flt Lt Jyoti Yadav and Flt Lt Mansi Geda will be positioned on either side of the saluting dais.

While the unfurling is on, there will be a 21 Gun Salute fired by the gunners of the elite 2233 Field Battery (Ceremonial), which will be commanded by Lt Col C Sandeep and the Gun Position Officer will be Regiment Havildar Major Kolate Rajesh Sripati.

The National Flag Guard will have 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 flag. Wing Commander  Kunal Khanna from IAF will be in command of this Inter-Services Guard and Police Guard.

The Army contingent for the National Flag Guard has been drawn from the 5th Battalion of the First Gorkha Rifles.  This was initially raised in January 1942 at Dharamshala and was later demobilised in December 1946, before being re-raised on the 01 January 1965 at Solan (Himachal Pradesh).  The Battalion has participated in major operations by Indian Army to include ‘Operation Pawan’ in Sri Lanka in 1989, ‘Operation Rakshak’ in J & K and ‘Operation Rhino’ in Assam.

After Modi’s address, school children and NCC Cadets will sing the National Anthem.  Also, there will be 3,500 girl students drawn from 41 government schools in Delhi; 5,000 boys and 700 NCC cadets (Army, Navy and Air Force) of 17 schools. They will display ‘strength in unity’ by the formation of words ‘नया भारत’ (Naya Bharat).

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