India on Sunday showcased its military strength at an event marking the country’s 71st Republic Day.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro was the chief guest at the event held in the capital New Delhi. This was the third time that India invited a Brazilian president as the chief guest at the Republic Day event.
On Saturday, India and Brazil signed 15 agreements to boost cooperation in different areas between the two countries which Prime Minister Narendra Modi referred to as a “new chapter opened”.
During the Republic Day event on Sunday, the newly inducted Chinook heavy lift and Apache attack choppers were put on display for the first time.
Another feature of the program was a contingent of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) women bikers, who performed daredevil stunts.
Elaborate security arrangements were made for the Republic Day, with multi-layered ground-to-air security cover at the main venue. More than 10,000 security personnel were deployed for the security of the Republic Day celebrations, according to police officials.
Apart from CCTV cameras and facial recognition devices, anti-aircraft guns were installed to avoid any untoward incident.
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid homage to soldiers who died fighting for the country.
Protesters celebrate Republic Day
Meanwhile, people protesting against the recently enacted Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) also celebrated the Republic Day.
At Shaheen Bagh neighborhood of the capital, protesters hoisted the national flag and sung the national anthem. They also read the preamble of the Constitution.
Hundreds of people, including women and children, have been camping on a major road in New Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh since Dec. 15, 2019, demanding the withdrawal of the CAA.
The act grants citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and Christians from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh, but blocks naturalization for Muslims. Critics see the new act as unconstitutional and discriminatory against Muslims.
Hundreds of students of Jamia Millia Islamia gathered outside the university and unfurl the national flag at midnight and chanted slogans of patriotism.
Last month, police fired teargas shells and beat students inside the Jamia Millia Islamia campus as students protested against the citizenship act.
Protests and Republic Day celebrations were also planned in other parts of the country.