New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will unfurl the national flag from the ramparts of the Red Fort on Sunday to celebrate the country's 75th Independence Day and two Mi-17 1V helicopters of the Indian Air Force (IAF) will shower flower petals at the venue for the first time ever.
Thirty-two athletes -- who have won medals at Olympics -- and two officials of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) have been invited to participate in the celebrations at the Red Fort on Sunday, the Defence Ministry said in a statement.
Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra who created history at the recently-concluded Tokyo Olympics by winning the gold medal is one of the 32 athletes invited to participate in the celebrations.
"Around 240 Olympians, support staff and the SAI and sports federation officials have also been invited to grace the Gyan Path in front of the ramparts," it mentioned.
In Tokyo, India recorded its best-ever medal haul in the Olympics by bagging a total of seven medals -- one Gold, two silver and four bronze.
A separate block has been created on the south side of the Red Fort's ramparts for Corona warriors such as health workers to honour them for playing a vital role in fighting the pandemic, the ministry mentioned.
The ministry in its statement detailed the sequence of events that would take place at the Red Fort on Sunday morning. It said when the PM will arrive at the Red Fort, he will be received by Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh, Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt and Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar.
Kumar will introduce Lieutenant General Vijay Kumar Mishra, General Officer Commanding (GoC), Delhi Area, to the PM.
"The GoC Delhi Area will then conduct Modi to the saluting base where a combined Inter-Services and Delhi Police Guard will present general salute to the PM. Thereafter, the PM will inspect the Guard of Honour," the ministry stated.
The Guard of Honour contingent for the PM will consist of one officer and 20 men each from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Delhi Police, it mentioned.
After inspecting the Guard of Honour, the PM will proceed to the ramparts of the Red Fort where he will be greeted by the Minister of Defence, the Minister of State for Defence, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army Staff General M M Naravane, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria.
"The GoC Delhi area will conduct the PM to the dais on the ramparts to hoist the national flag," the ministry mentioned. After being hoisted, the tricolour will receive a 'Rashtriya Salute'.
The National Flag Guard comprising five officers and 130 men from the Indian Army, the Indian Navy, the IAF and Delhi Police will present 'Rashtriya Salute' at the time of hoisting of the tricolour by the PM.
The Indian Navy's band, consisting of 16 men, will play the national anthem during hoisting of the national flag and the 'Rashritya Salute'.
"Lt Commander P Priyambada Sahoo will assist the Prime Minister in hoisting the national flag. It will be synchronised with the 21 Gun Salute fired by the valiant gunners of the elite 2233 Field Battery (Ceremonial)," the ministry noted.
For the first time ever, as soon as the tricolour is hoisted by the PM on Sunday, flower petals will be showered at the venue by two Mi-17 1V helicopters of the IAF in Amrut formation, it stated.
"Captain of the first helicopter will be Wing Commander Baldev Singh Bisht. The second chopper is commanded by Wing Commander Nikhil Mehrotra," it said.
After the showering of flower petals, the PM will address the nation.
"At the conclusion of the speech of the PM, the cadets of National Cadet Corps (NCC) will sing the National Anthem," it noted.
India is commemorating its 75th Independence Day as 'Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav' under which a series of events have been organised across the country, the ministry's statement noted.