New Delhi, Jan 26: The nation marked the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi--the apostle of non-violence-- with a grand parade on Rajpath on the occasion of 70th Republic day.
President Ram Nath Kovind hosted President of Republic of South Africa Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, where the Father of the Nation had set out his journey on freedom and equality in 1893 at the tender age of 24 as a newly qualified lawyer.
The parade ceremony commenced with Prime Minister Narendra Modi leading the nation in paying homage to the martyrs by laying a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at the India Gate.
In a first, an all women marching contingent of the Assam Rifles, took part in the show of the country's military strength with Major Khusboo Kanwar leading the contingent.
As per tradition, the unfurling of the National Flag was followed by the playing the national anthem and a 21 gun salute.
The parade then commenced with the President taking the salute.
The parade was commanded by Lieutenant General Asit Mistry, General Officer Commanding, Headquarters Delhi Area.
Major General Rajpal Punia, Chief of Staff, Headquarters Delhi Area was the parade Second-in-Command.
The proud winners of the highest gallantry awards were followed by him.
They included the winners of the Param Vir Chakra and the Ashok Chakra.
Param Vir Chakra winners Subedar Major & Honorary Captain Bana Singh (Retd), Subedar Yogendra Singh Yadav, 18 Grenadiers and Subedar Sanjay Kumar, 13 JAK Rifles and Ashok Chakra winners Major General Cyrus A Pithawalla (Retd), Colonel Jasbir Singh Raina (Retd), Lieutenant Colonel Jas Ram Singh, (Retd), Lieutenant Colonel D Sreeram Kumar, Naib Subedar (Honorary) Chhering Mutup (Retd), Govind Singh of District Chhatarpur, Madhya Pradesh and Bhure Lal of District Guna, Madhya Pradesh followed the Deputy Parade Commander on Jeeps. (UNI)