The National Security Guard, the country’s elite counter-terrorism force made it’s debut today at the 68th Republic Day parade. The contingent which consisted of 60 commandos took part in the march past at the Rajpath, saluting President Pranab Mukherjee.
Other commandoes were on vehicles which had hydraulic ladders mounted on them. Sherpa, the NSG’s anti-hijacking van, that can be driven in water and on steep areas and is strong enough to witness any powerful explosions also took apart in the parade for the first time.
Apart from NSG, another major attraction this year was the UAE contingent. Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Armed Forces Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan is the chief guest at the function this year.
A contingent of 179 United Arab Emirates (UAE) soldiers marched at the parade. It had sent 195 jawans, 15 officers and 15 support staff. Of these, 144 jawans and 35 band members were part of the parade at Rajpath.
As people geared up to celebrate the occasion, the national capital was brought under ground-to-air security cover with thousands of armed personnel keeping a tight vigil for the Republic Day celebrations and police using anti-drone technology to thwart any aerial attack.
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Nearly 50,000 security personnel from the Delhi Police and central security forces kept every nook and corner. No landing or take-off of any commercial flight will be allowed from the Delhi airport between 10.35am and 12.15pm today.
(With inputs from IANS)