The 68th Repulic Day celebrations saw the elite NSG contingent making a debut in the parade on the Rajpath with Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan as the chief guest.
Around 60 commandos in black marched in the parade and gave a ceremonial salute to President Pranab Mukherjee. They had their balaclava headgear, special assault rifles and iconic commando daggers. The other commandos were on seven vehicles with hydraulic ladders.
NSG's anti-hijacking van “'Sherpa” . Sherpa is a bullet proof armoured vehicle that can survive powerful explosions and can be driven under water and on steep inclines.
The NSG, a special force under the Union Home Ministry often referred to as Black Cats, was raised in 1984 after the assassination of Indira Gandhi “for combating terror to protect states against internal disturbances.”
Till now, the NSG's presence in the Republic Day celebrations was confined to security around the parade route.
The parade was led by a 149-member UAE contingent and marching band which was lavishly cheered by the onlookers.
A large number of tableaus from the states as well as from the ministeries formed part of the parade.
As for the first time spectaros were allowed to carry their moblies along, people recorded the spectacle on their mobiles even as fighter jets and helicopters displayed their might in the air. — Organiser Bureau