PM to kick off India's 67th Independence Day celebrations from Red Fort on Thursday

New Delhi, Aug.14 (ANI): The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, will unfurl the National Flag from the ramparts of the Red Fort on Thursday (August 15), to celebrate the 67th Independence Day.

After unfurling the Tricolor, Dr. Manmohan Singh will address the nation.

On arrival at the Lahori Gate of the Red Fort, the Prime Minister will be received by the Defence Minister, A.K. Antony, Minister of State for Defence Jitendra Singh and Defence Secretary R.K. Mathur.

The Defence Secretary will then introduce the General Officer Commanding, Delhi Area, Lt. General Subroto Mitra 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 Guard will present general salute to the Prime Minister. Thereafter, Dr. Manmohan Singh 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 Army, Navy, Air Force and Delhi Police.

This year, Air Force being the coordinating agency, the Guard of Honour will be commanded by Wing Commander K Srinivasan from the Indian Air Force. The Army contingent will be commanded by Captain Nishant Kumar Vivek of the Madras Regiment, Naval Contingent by Lt. Cdr. Y Hemanth Kumar, Air Force contingent by Squadron Leader Siddhartha Sathe and the Delhi Police contingent by Assistant Commissioner of Police Santosh Kumar Meena.

The Army contingent for PM's Guard is drawn from the 28th Battalion of the Madras Regiment. The battalion was raised on July 1, 1976 at Guava Hill near Wellington (Ooty) and has completed 37 glorious years of service.

The battalion was named 'The Daring' in recognition of the gallantry displayed by its personnel in Nagaland. It has served with distinction in all kinds of operational environment, including high altitude, Line of Control and counter insurgency and terrorism operations. The unit was awarded the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Northern Command, Unit Appreciation for its commendable performance in Op RAKSHAK and Op VIJAY (J and K) during 1998-99.

Personnel of the unit have been awarded one Veer Chakra, three AVSM, three Shaurya Chakras, fifteen Sena Medals, three Vishist Seva Medals, two Mentioned-in-Despatches, thirty six Chief of the Army Staff Commendation Cards, twenty two Vice Chief of Army Staff Commendation Cards and forty General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Commendation Cards. The Battalion has arrived in New Delhi after a very successful tenure on the Line of Control in J and K and is responsible for conducting various ceremonial duties at the Rashtrapati Bhawan, India Gate, Red Fort and other important ceremonial functions organized by HQ Delhi Area.

After inspecting the Guard of Honour, the Prime Minister will proceed to the ramparts of the Red Fort where he will be greeted by Defence Minister, Minister of State for Defence, Chief of Army Staff General Bikram Singh, Chief of Naval Staff(Officiating) Vice Admiral R K Dhowan and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne. The GOC Delhi area will conduct the Prime Minister to the dais to unfurl the National Flag.

The unfurling of the tri-colour will synchronize with the 21 Gun Salute fired by the valiant gunners of the elite 871 Field Regiment (SHINGO). The ceremonial battery will be commanded by Lt. Col Vijay Kumar Shah, Sena Medal and the Gun Position Officer will be Sub (AIG) Narayan Rao Killi.

The National Flag Guard comprising 32 men and one officer each from Army, Navy, Air Force and Delhi Police will present Rashtriya Salute at the time of unfurling of the National Flag by the Prime Minister. Wing Commander Ashish Sharma from Indian Air Force will be in command of this Inter-Services Guard and Police Guard. The Naval Contingent for the National Flag Guard will be commanded by Lt Cdr Puspajit Ojha, the Army contingent by Major Pramod Kumar MV, Air Force contingent by Sqn Ldr Neeraj Saraswat and Delhi Police contingent by Additional DCP Dr. A Koan.

The Air Force Band will play National Anthem when the National Guard presents 'Rashtriya Salute' while unfurling of the National Flag by the Prime Minister. All Service personnel in uniform will stand and salute. The Band will be commanded by Warrant Officer, Alfred.

Two Air Force Officers, Flt Lt. Ajeek Kumar and Fg Officer Najeev Kumar will be positioned on either side of the saluting dais for the PM for ADC duties. Fg Officer Shaheen Khan will assist the Prime Minister in unfurling of the National Flag.

The Army contingent for the National Flag Guard is drawn from the 27th Battalion of the Madras Regiment. The Battalion was raised on 01 June 1971 by Late Lt Col AO Alexander at Guava Hill, Wellington and has completed 42 glorious years of service. Since then, the Battalion has served with distinction in all kinds of operational environment including High Altitude, Line of Control and Counter Insurgency and Terrorism Operations and at the Rashtrapati Bhavan from September 1990 to January 1994. During the short span of 42 years, the battalion has been awarded one Shaurya Chakra, four Sena Medals, one Vishist Seva Medal, one Jeevan Raksha Padak, four Mentioned-in-Despatches, fortyfour Chief of Army Staff Commendation Cards, six Vice Chief of Army Staff Commendation Cards and fifty General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Commendation Cards.

After unfurling the National Flag, the Prime Minister will address the nation. After the Prime Minister's address, school children and NCC Cadets will sing the National Anthem.

Seven hundred cadets of the National Cadet Corps from the Delhi Directorate comprising Army, Navy and Air Force wings are participating in the flag hoisting ceremony this year.

Besides, three thousand five hundred girl students from 36 government schools of northern, eastern, central and north-eastern zones of Directorate of Education, Government of Delhi are also participating.

On this occasion these students will create a replica of national flag by human structure. (ANI)

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