Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday hoisted the National Flag for the seventh straight time at the ramparts of the Red Fort on the occasion of 74th Independence Day. With this, he became the first non-Congress Prime Minister to do so most frequently.
He surpassed the number of times late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had hoisted the flag on Independence Day.
On his arrival at 7:18 am in front of the Lahore Gate of Red Fort, Prime Minister Modi was received by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar.
The Defence Secretary introduced the General Officer Commanding (GoC), Delhi Area, Lieutenant General Vijay Kumar Mishra to the Prime Minister.
The GoC Delhi Area then conducted the Prime Minister to the Saluting Base where a combined Inter-Services and Police Guards presented general salute to PM Modi. Thereafter, the Prime Minister inspected the Guard of Honour.
The Guard of Honour contingent for the Prime Minister consisted of one officer and 24 men each from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Delhi Police. The Guard of Honour was 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 was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Gaurav S Yewalkar. Army Contingent in the Prime Minister’s Guard was commanded by Major Palvinder Grewal, the Navy contingent by Lieutenant Commander K V R Reddy, while Squadron Leader Vikas Kumar led the Air Force contingent and the Delhi Police contingent was led by Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Jitender Kumar Meena.
After inspecting the Guard of Honour, Prime Minister Modi proceeded towards the ramparts of the Red Fort where he was greeted by Rajnath Singh, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army Staff General MM Naravane, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria. The GoC Delhi area conducted the Prime Minister to the dais on the rampart to unfurl the national flag.
On unfurling the national flag by Prime Minister Modi, the National Guard gave ‘Rashtriya Salute’ to the national flag. The Army Grenadiers Regimental Centre Military Band played the national anthem during unfurling of the national flag and the ‘Rashtriya Salute’. The band was commanded by Subedar Major Abdul Gani.
Major Shweta Pandey assisted the Prime Minister in unfurling the national flag. The unfurling of the tri-colour was synchronised with the 21 Gun Salute fired by the valiant gunners of the elite 2233 Field Battery (Ceremonial). The ceremonial battery was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Jitendra Singh Mehta and the Gun Position Officer was 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 presented Rashtriya Salute at the time of unfurling of the national flag by the Prime Minister.
Major Surya Prakash from the Army was in command of this Inter-Services Guard and Police Guard. The Naval Contingent for the National Flag Guard was commanded by Lieutenant Commander Vivek Tingloo, Air Force contingent by Squadron Leader Mayank Abhishek and Delhi Police contingent by Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Sudhanshu Dhama.