The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will unfurl the National Flag from the ramparts of the Red Fort, tomorrow to celebrate the 72nd Independence Day. After unfurling the Tricolour, Shri Narendra Modi will address the nation. On arrival at Lahori Gate of Red Fort, the Prime Minister will be received by the Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, Raksha Rajya Mantri Dr Subhash Bhamre and Defence Secretary Shri Sanjay Mitra. The Defence Secretary will introduce the General Officer Commanding, Delhi Area, Lt. General Asit Mistry 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 the general salute to the Prime Minister. Thereafter, Shri Narendra Modi 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, the Navy being the Coordinating Service, the Guard of Honour will be commanded by Commander PR Jagan Mohan of the Indian Navy. The Army Contingent in the Prime Minister’s Guard will be commanded by Major Suraj Pal, the Navy contingent by Lt Cdr MYV Tejas, while Sqn Ldr Praveen Narayan will lead the Air Force contingent and the Delhi Police contingent by ACP Shri Jagdev Singh Yadav.
The Army contingent for the Prime Minister’s Guard is drawn from the elite Fifth Battalion of the First Gorkha Rifles. The battalion was initially raised in January 1942 at Dharamshala by Lt Col JLF ‘O’ Ferral and was later demobilized in December 1946. It was re-raised on January 01, 1965 at Solan (Himachal Pradesh) by Lt Col Govind Sharma and served in erstwhile NEFA (now Arunachal Pradesh) in its first assignment.
The battalion proved its mettle during ‘Operation Cactus Lily’ in East Pakistan in 1971 when led by its dynamic Commanding Officer Lt Colonel C Venugopal, the unit carried out five consecutive attacks on Santoshpur, Uthali, Darsana, Kushtia and Hardinge Bridge. During the campaign, the unit was awarded with three Mahavir Chakras and two Vir Chakras. The unit was honoured with the Battle Honour DARSANA and the Theatre Honour EAST PAKISTAN for its outstanding performance.
The battalion also participated in ‘Operation Pawan’ in Sri Lanka in 1989 where it was awarded with two Vir Chakras and six Sena Medals for the gallant actions of its soldiers.
The battalion, during its deployment in ‘Operation Rakshak’ in Panzgam, Jammu & Kashmir from 1997-1999 neutralized 36 hardcore terrorists and recovered huge caches of arms and ammunitions. 17 Gallantry Awards including, one Shaurya Chakra and eight Sena Medals were conferred to the Unit for its achievements. The unit was awarded the Chief of Army Staff Unit Citation.
The battalion also had a prestigious opportunity to serve in United Nation Mission in Sudan. During its tenure in Sudan from March 2008 to May 2009, the unit participated in numerous humanitarian missions and was awarded with Force Commander’s Unit Citation for its exemplary performance. During ‘Operation Rhino’ in Assam, the battalion neutralized 15 hardcore militants and recovered large quantities of arms & ammunitions. The unit was awarded with the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (Eastern Command) Unit Citation for its exemplary performance.
The unit also represented Indian Army at the prestigious Army Cambrian Patrol Championship held in the United Kingdom in 2007 and won Gold Medal.
The battalion is presently performing the honourable duty of Ceremonial Army Guard to the President of India.
After inspecting the Guard of Honour, the Prime Minister will proceed to the ramparts of the Red Fort where he will be greeted by the Raksha Mantri Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, Raksha Rajya Mantri Dr. Subhash Bhamre, the Chief of the Army Staff General Bipin Rawat, the Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba and the Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa. 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 2281 Field Battery (Ceremonial). The ceremonial battery will be commanded by Lt. Col C Sandeep and the Gun Position Officer will be Regiment Havildar Major Kolate Rajesh Shripati.
The National Flag Guard comprising 32 men and one officer each from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Delhi Police will present the Rashtriya Salute at the time of unfurling of the National Flag by the Prime Minister. Commander Vaibhav N Janbandhu from the Indian Navy 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 Prashant Parbakr, the Army contingent by Major Ashwin Shah, the Air Force contingent by Sqn Ldr Vivek Mohan and the Delhi Police contingent by Addl DCP Shri Rajendra Prasad Meena.
The Naval Band will play the National Anthem when the National Guard presents the ‘Rashtriya Salute’ while unfurling the National Flag by the Prime Minister. All Service personnel in uniform will stand and salute. The Band will be commanded by Master Chief Petty Officer Musician, Mani Ram.
Two Naval Officers, Lt GA Reddy and Lt AG Nikhil will be positioned on either side of the saluting dais for the Prime Minister for ADC duties. Lt Sarthak Nischal will assist the Prime Minister in unfurling the National Flag.
The Army Contingent for the National Flag Guard is drawn from the 11th Battalion of the Rajputana Rifles.
The battalion was raised by Lt Col RisaI Singh (later retd as Maj Gen) on October 01, 1964 at Delhi Cantt with a fixed class composition of Rajput and Jat.
With the motto of ‘Veer Bhogya Vasundhara’ which means ‘The Brave shall inherit the Earth’, the battalion has participated in all major operations of the Indian Army viz lndo-Pak War 1971 , ‘Operation Orchid’, ‘Operation Pawan (Sri Lanka)’, ‘Operation Rakshak-1 (Punjab)’, ‘Operation Rakshak (J&K)’, ‘Operation Meghdoot’, ‘Operation Vijay’, ‘Operation Parakaram’, ‘Operation Falcon’, ‘Operation Rhino’, UNMIS (Sudan). It is a highly decorated battalion with recipients of one Ashok Chakra, one Kirti Chakra, six Shaurya Chakras, one Bar to Shaurya Chakra, four Vir Chakras, 28 Sena Medals, one Vishisht Seva Medal and number of commendation cards by military commanders.
The battalion has also been awarded with Chief of Army Staff Unit Citation for outstanding performance in ‘Operation Rakshak (J&K)’ in 1994 and again in 1999 for ‘Operation Meghdoot’ and ‘Operation Vijay’. They are also the proud recipient of J&K Governor’s Citation in 1994, recipient of Force Commander’s citation in United Nation Mission in Sudan in 2011 and recipient of Northern Army Commander’s citation in 1994 and 2018.
The Turtok sub-sector in Jammu and Kashmir was renamed as Sub Sect Haneef after the gallant action of Capt Haneefuddin of the battalion who made the supreme sacrifice on the icy heights of Ladakh region during ‘Operation Vijay’ and was posthumously awarded with Vir Chakra. The war cry of the unit is ‘RAJARAM CHANDRAKI JAI’.
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 drawn from 16 schools of the Delhi Directorate comprising the Army, Navy and Air Force wings are participating in the flag hoisting ceremony this year. The cadets will take part in the singing of patriotic songs and the National Anthem along with the school children. 3,500 girls from 36 schools of Directorate of Education, Government of Delhi will sing the National Anthem and 5,000 boys from 72 schools will witness the event. On this occasion, these school children will display the formation of ‘भारत’(Bharat).