Tue, 26 January 2021
24-hr mobile net ban in 3 Haryana districts
21:50 24-hr mobile net ban in 3 Haryana districts
Mobile internet services were suspended in three Haryana districts of Sonipat, Jhajjar and Palwal until 5 pm Wednesday, the state government said Tuesday evening, as violent protests by farmers rocked neighbouring Delhi.
Haryana's Home Secretary Rajeev Arora said the order is issued to prevent any disturbance of peace and public order in the districts.
The order comes into force immediately and will remain in effect till 5 pm of January 27, he said.
He said the order covers internet services (2G/ 3G/4G/CDMA/GPRS), all SMS services (excluding banking and mobile recharge) and 'all dongle services etc provided on mobile networks except voice calls in territorial jurisdiction of district Sonipat, Palwal and Jhajjar of Haryana State'.
He asked all telecom service providers in Haryana including the Head of BSNL (Haryana jurisdiction) to ensure compliance.
'This order is being passed ex parte in view of the emergent situationAny person found guilty of violation of this order will be liable for legal action under relevant provisions,' as per the order.
The order was issued in view of the potential law and order situation on account of events which unfolded during the farmers' tractor parade in the national capital.
The three Haryana districts lie adjoining the national capital.
Farmers protesting against the Centre's new farm laws have been sitting in protest for two months at Delhi's various border points including Sonipat, Jhajjar and Palwal districts.
Earlier in the day, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs decided to temporarily suspend the internet in parts of Delhi like Singhu, Ghazipur, Tikri, Mukarba Chowk and Nangloi and their adjoining areas for 12 hours from Tuesday noon. -- PTI
21:14 Mamata blames 'Centre's indifference' for Delhi violence
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Tuesday that the Centre's 'insensitive attitude' and indifference towards farmers are to be blamedfor the violent protests in Delhi, maintaining that she wasdeeply disturbed by the situation.
Banerjee urged the Centre to engage with the farmersand repeal the new farm laws, which she termed draconian.
'Deeply disturbed by worrying and painful developmentsthat have unfolded on the streets of Delhi. Centre'sinsensitive attitude and indifference towards our farmerbrothers and sisters has to be blamed for this situation,' she tweeted.
Banerjee said, 'First, these laws were passed without taking farmers in confidence. And then despite protests across India and farmers camping near Delhi for last 2 months, they've (Centre) been extremely casual in dealing with them.'
'Centre should engage with the farmers and repeal thedraconian laws,' she added.
Tens of thousands of protesters clashed with police inmultiple places, leading to chaos in well-known landmarks of Delhi and suburbs, amid waves of violence that ebbed andflowed through the day, leaving the farmers' two-month peaceful movement in tatters. -- PTI
20:34 CJI urged to take cognisance of Delhi violence
A Mumbai-based law student Tuesday wrote a letter to the Chief Justice of India (CJI) S A Bobde urging him to take suo motu cognisance of the violence that took place at the Red Fort here during the farmers' tractor march on Republic Day.
The letter, written by Mumbai University student Ashish Rai, claimed that the tractor march event has been 'terrorised by some anti-social elements'.
It said the way the flag of another community was waved at the fort in place of the national flag of India, it hurt the honour and dignity of the country.
It claimed that a lot of public property was also damaged.
'It is a shameful event and the whole country is also hurt by this incident. Because of this incident, the national flag has also been insulted along with the Constitution of the country,' the letter said, adding that such kind of activities damage the constitutional sentiments of Indian citizen.
It requested that a Special Investigation Committee be formed on this entire matter to conduct a rigorous inquiry against the anti-social elements involved in this unconstitutional activity and to punish the accused. -- PTI
20:28 R-Day: Mobile internet services restored in Kashmir
Internet services on mobile phones were restored in Kashmir after remaining suspended for over 12 hours as a precautionary measure for ensuring smooth passage of Republic Day celebrations on Tuesday, officials said.
However, the calling service on mobile phones had remained unaffected.
"The mobile internet telephone services have been now restored. The services were temporarily suspended early in the morning in the valley for ensuring peaceful Republic Day celebrations," the officials said.
Suspension of mobile phone and internet services on Republic Day and Independence Day have been part of the security drill in the Valley since 2005 when militants used a mobile phone to trigger an IED blast near the venue of an Independence Day programme. -- PTI
20:14 Farmers' union calls off tractor parade
Samyukt Kisan Morcha calls off tractor parade with immediate effect, appeals participants to return to their respective protest sites.
'Farmers' movement will continue peacefully, further steps will be decided soon,' Farmer unions' body Samyukt Kisan Morcha. -- PTI
19:31 Additional forces to be deployed in Delhi
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) will deploy additional paramilitary forces in the national capital amid a tense security situation following clashes between protesting farmers and Delhi Police.
Sources in the government said that the process of sending additional paramilitary forces has been initiated following the conclusion of a meeting chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, during which the decision was made.
The meeting was attended by top officials like Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, Delhi Police Commissioner SN Srivastava and the director of the Intelligence Bureau (IB).
"Yesterday, 15 companies of paramilitary forces were sent to Delhi. Ten were from CRPF and rest five were from other paramilitary forces. Similarly, five companies were on standby today," a senior government official told ANI.
In the meeting that lasted for almost 90 minutes, the home minister also took stock of the law and order situation in the national capital.
According to sources in the government, since this morning the MHA has been getting hourly updates and has been monitoring the situation in Delhi. Senior Delhi police officials briefed Union Home secretary Ajay Bhalla about the situation in the afternoon, sources informed.
This comes after the Ministry ordered the suspension of internet services at Delhi's border points -- Singhu, Ghazipur, Tikri, Mukarba Chowk, Nangloi and areas adjoining these protest hubs due to the tense security situation in the national capital. -- ANI
18:58 Farmers breached deal; many cops injured: Police
The Delhi Police on Tuesday said protesting farmers violated the conditions pre-agreed for their tractor parade and resorted to violence and vandalism, leaving many police personnel injured.
In a statement, the police also claimed the force did all due diligence in following the conditions for the rally, but the protesters began their march much ahead of the scheduled time and extensive damage to public property was caused.
The police statement came as the national capital witnessed violent scenes during a tractor parade by farmers who entered the city in their tractors from different points to press for their demand of repealing the three new agri laws.
"The protesters violated conditions fixed for the rally. The farmers began tractor rally before scheduled time, they also resorted to violence and vandalism," Delhi Police PRO Eish Singhal said.
"We followed all conditions as promised and did our due diligence but the protest led to extensive damage to public property. Many policemen were also injured during the protest," Singhal said, without mentioning the exact number of personnel injured. -- PTI
18:10 Normal services resume on Delhi Metro's Grey Line
Normal service have resumed on the Delhi Metro's Grey Line. Entry/exit has been permitted through one gate at Samaypur Badli, Rohini Sector 18/19, Haiderpur Badli Mor, Jahangir Puri, Adarsh Nagar, Azadpur, Model Town, GTB Nagar, Vishwavidyalaya, Vidhan Sabha and Civil Lines metro stations.
Meanwhile, entry/exit gates of Kashmere Gate and Azadpur metro stations have been closed.
17:53 Amarinder asks farmers to vacate Delhi
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday said the violence during the farmers' tractor parade against the new agriculture laws in Delhi is unacceptable and urged the peasants to vacate the national capital.
He said the violence will negate the goodwill earned by peaceful protesting farmers.
Shocking scenes in Delhi. The violence by some elements is unacceptable. It'll negate goodwill generated by peacefully protesting farmers. Kisan leaders have disassociated themselves & suspended #TractorRally. I urge all genuine farmers to vacate Delhi & return to borders, Singh said in a tweet.
Wielding sticks and clubs and holding the tricolour and union flags, tens of thousands of farmers atop tractors broke barriers, clashed with police and entered the city from various points to lay siege to the Red Fort and climb the flagpole on Republic Day on Tuesday.
The Punjab chief minister on Monday had appealed to farmers to ensure that the tractor parade remains peaceful.
Farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at several border points of Delhi for the past several weeks, demanding a repeal of the three farm laws and a legal guarantee to the minimum support price for their crops.
17:46 AAP strongly condemns violence in farmers' tractor parade
The Aam Aadmi Party strongly condemned the violence during the farmers' tractor parade in Delhi on Tuesday, blaming the Centre for allowing the situation to deteriorate to such an extent.
In a statement, the AAP said the violence had "certainly weakened" the movement, which was going on peacefully and a disciplined manner.
"We strongly condemn the violence seen in today's protest. It is regrettable that the Central govt allowed the situation to deteriorate to such an extent. The movement has been peaceful for the last two months," it said.
"Farmer leaders have said that those who indulged in violence today were not part of the movement and were external elements. Whoever they were, the violence has certainly weakened the movement which was going on so peacefully and in a disciplined manner," it said.
17:26 Ashamed over Red Fort incident: Yogendra Yadav
Activist and Swaraj India leader Yogendra Yadav said on Tuesday that his head hangs in shame over the Red Fort incident.
"The people who went there were not the right people. There were deshbandhus there who have not been with us since Day 1 but I cannot run away from responsibility since it would give the agitation a bad name," he said.
Earlier, he also said he was appealing with folded hands for peace. Today is Republic Day, he said.
17:15 Israeli PM Netanyahu greets "great friend" Modi on Republic Day
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu greeted his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, on Tuesday, on the occasion of the country's 72nd Republic Day, saying "our friendship grows from year to year".
"To my great friend Prime Minister @NarendraModi - Congratulations to you and the people of India on your 72nd #RepublicDay. Our friendship grows from year to year," Netanyahu tweeted, along with a photograph of Modi and himself, and the emoticons of handshake and the Indian, Israeli flags.
India's Republic Day marks the day when the country's Constitution came into force in 1950.
On Tuesday, Israeli Knesset's speaker Yariv Levin sent a video message to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla. Levin said the values of the Indian constitution are "most inspiring".
"India's strong commitment to the ideals of rights and values of the constitution is most inspiring. Israel and India have grown much closer in the recent years and I am pleased to see the strategic partnership that has emerged in many fields. I am also proud of the growing friendship between our parliaments which is based on shared values of human rights that are reflected in your Constitution", Levin noted.
17:06 Farmer clashes: Paramilitary forces on standby
Paramilitary forces have been asked to remain on high alert and may be instructed to move in if the need arises.
The Central government on Tuesday also ordered the suspension of Internet services till 11:59 pm at Delhi's border point points - Singhu, Ghazipur, Tikri, Mukarba Chowk, Nangloi and areas adjoining these protest hubs due to intensifying clashes between the police and farmers who are protesting the new agricultural laws.
Groups of protesting farmers camping at Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur border points of New Delhi broke police barricades on Tuesday morning to force their way into the city, much ahead of the time they were granted permission by Delhi Police for their tractor parade.
16:26 Protesters removed from Red Fort by police
Police removed protesting farmers from Red Fort premises on Tuesday where they had barged in after deviating from their planned route for the tractor parade and hoisted flags at the iconic monument in the national capital.
Chaos reigned for nearly 90 minutes as some protesters, including 'Nihangs' (traditional Sikh warriors), forced their way into the Red Fort and hoisted a flag from the staff from which the prime minister unfurls the tricolour on Independence Day.
The police later resorted to lathi-charge to vacate the Red Fort premises. Continuous announcements were being made asking the protesters to leave the complex peacefully.
Earlier, the farmers had deviated from the designated route for the proposed tractor parade against the new farm laws and moved toward ITO in central Delhi.
Clashes broke out between police and protesting farmers after the latter reached ITO and tried to push towards Lutyen's Delhi, prompting the force to use lathicharge and tear gas shells against them.
The farmers began their march from different border points much before the time permitted to them for their tractor rally.
The Delhi Police had permitted the farmers protesting the three farm laws to hold their tractor parade on selected routes only after the official Republic Day parade on the Rajpath concludes.
16:12 High-level meeting of senior home ministry officials underway
A high-level meeting of senior officials of the Union home ministry is underway.
Information is being sought about violence in parts of Delhi-NCR.
Paramilitary forces have been asked to remain on high alert and may be instructed to move in if the need arises.
15:58 Farmer union distances itself from violence
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha has issued statement, distancing itself from violent elements.
Its statement read, "We thank farmers for the unprecedented participation in today's Farmers Republic Day Parade. We also condemn and regret the undesirable and unacceptable events that have taken place today and dissociate ourselves from those indulging in such acts.
"Despite all our efforts, some organisations and individuals have violated the route and indulged in condemnable acts. Anti-social elements had infiltrated the otherwise peaceful movement. We have always held that peace is our biggest strength, and that any violation would hurt the movement.
"The long struggle for more than 6 months now, and more than 60 days of protest at Delhi borders also seemed to have led to this situation.
"We dissociate ourselves from all such elements that have violated our discipline. We appeal strongly to everyone to stick to the route and norms of the Parade, and not indulge in any violent action or anything that taints national symbols and dignity. We appeal to everyone to desist from any such acts.
"SKM has been trying to get a full picture of all the events with regard to the several Kisan Parades that were planned today and will share a fuller statement soon. Our information is that apart from some regrettable violations, the parades are underway peacefully as per plan."
15:40 Tourism minister condemns farmers at Red Fort
Union Minister of Tourism and Culture, Prahlad Patel on Tuesday condemned the actions of a section of farmers who entered the Red Fort as part of their tractor rally and said it violated the symbol of dignity of India's democracy.
Deviating from the designated route for the proposed tractor parade, a section of protesting farmers who were pushed back by the police form the ITO in Central Delhi drove their tractors to Red Fort complex.
The crowd swelled at the monument as some protesting farmers and 'Nihangs' (traditional Sikh warriors) were seen entering the Red Fort and hoisting a flag from the staff from which prime minister unfurls the tricolour on Independence Day.
"The Red Fort is a symbol of the dignity of our democracy. The farmers should have stayed away from it. I condemn the violation of this dignity. It is sad and unfortunate," Patel said in a tweet.
15:04 Connaught Place shuts due to farmers' clashes
Connaught Place in the heart of the national capital will remain closed Tuesday in view of the ongoing tractor parade by farmers which turned violent at some places in the city, the New Delhi Traders Association said.
Atul Bhargava, the President of the Association, said the Delhi Police has advised the commercial hub to remain closed in view of the agitation.
"The tractor parade has gone haywire. The farmers have already reached ITO. I spoke to Police Commissioner and it was advised the markets remain closed. We have asked the outlets, which would have opened by now, to close down," he told PTI.
On Republic Day every year, Connaught Place opens around 1 pm.
"It is a day of peak sales for traders but safety of everyone is important so it is better to remain closed today," he said.
Protesting farmers clashed with police at several places in the national capital and entered the iconic Red Fort and ITO in the heart of national capital, with hundreds of them deviating from pre-decided routes, prompting security personnel to resort to lathicharge and tear gas.
Chaotic scenes were witnessed at ITO, where hundreds of protesters could be seen chasing police personnel with sticks and ramming their tractors into the buses parked by police.
14:54 Tractor with 2 farmers overturns at Delhi border
A tractor with two farmers on it overturned during a stunt at the Delhi-Noida border on Tuesday morning, as scores of protesters gathered for demonstration against the new farm laws.
The tractor was being driven in a circular path at a high speed when it lost balance and overturned, while the two persons on board got minor injuries during the act at the Chilla border in the morning.
The sight of the overturned tractor, bearing a tricolour and a flag of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Bhanu), was short lived as several protesters came together to put the vehicle back on its four tyres.
14:27 Farmers climb domes of Red Fort, wave flags
Thousands of protesters broke through barricades, attacked policemen with sticks and vandalised a police vehicle after deviating from the agreed route of a farmers' tractor rally and reaching the heart of Delhi.
In visuals emerging from ITO, one of the main intersections in Delhi near media offices and the police headquarters, policemen in riot gear appeared to be outnumbered. The policemen were seen running or hiding behind cars as farmers armed with sticks chased them.
14:25 Violence is not the solution...: Rahul Gandhi on clashes
As clashes broke out between farmers and the Delhi police, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter, appealing to people to calm down and not resort to violence.
The Congress leader tweeted, "Violence is not the solution to any problem. Irrespective of who gets hurt, it's the country which will suffer."
13:52 Don't take law in your hands: Cops to farmers
The Delhi Police on Tuesday appealed to the protesting farmers to not take law in their hands and maintain peace as clashes between the force and protesting farmers broke out at a number of places in the national capital.
The police also asked the farmers to head back to their pre-decided routes for the tractor parade.
"We request to the protesting farmers to not take law in their hands and maintain peace," Additional PRO Anil Mittal said.
Police on Tuesday fired tear gas shells and lathicharged farmers when they clashed with the force in parts of city, including the ITO, after the tractor parade deviated from the permitted route in an attempt to move towards Rajpath, the heart of the national capital.
The Delhi Police had given permission to farmers protesting the three farm laws to hold their tractor parade on selected routes only after the official Republic Day parade on the Rajpath concludes.
However chaos ensued as the farmers were were adamant of heading towards central Delhi.
The farmers who began their march from different border points, much before the time permitted to them for their tractor parade, reached ITO in Central Delhi and tried to move towards Lutyen's zone. The protesters, carrying sticks, clashed with police at the ITO.
13:10 Gates of several Delhi Metro stations closed
Entry and exit gates of several Delhi Metro stations closed.
According to the Delhi Metro authorities, the gates of Samaypur Badli, Rohini Sector 18/19, Haiderpur Badli Mor, Jahangir Puri, Adarsh Nagar, Azadpur, Model Town, GTB Nagar, Vishwavidyalaya, Vidhan Sabha and Civil Lines are closed.
The action was taken after groups of protesting farmers camping at Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur border points of New Delhi broke police barricades on Tuesday morning to force their way into the city, much ahead of the time they were granted permission by Delhi Police for their tractor parade.
12:45 Heavy traffic jam along Delhi border
Tractors are stuck in a traffic jam at Tikri border.
Chaos prevailed at Delhis Singhu border as police resorted to lathicharge after protesting farmers tried to break past barricades.
Earlier this morning, the farmers camping at Singhu, Tikri, and Ghazipur border started breaking police barricades to enter Delhi. The farmers are marching on foot as well as on tractors.
12:27 Trump's impeachment trial 'has to happen': Biden
US President Joe Biden said former president Donald Trump's impeachment trial in the US senate "has to happen."
"I think it has to happen," Biden said regarding Trump's impeachment trial to CNN. The 46th President acknowledged the effect the impeachment trial could have on his legislative agenda and Cabinet nominees but said there would be "a worse effect if it didn't happen."
The US President told CNN that he believed the outcome would have been different if Trump had six months left in his term, but said he does not think 17 Republican senators will vote to convict Trump.
"The Senate has changed since I was there, but it hasn't changed that much," Biden said.
The comments come after the House impeachment managers formally triggered the start of Trump's second impeachment trial after they began reading on the Senate floor the charge against Trump.
The US House of Representatives has delivered to the Senate the articles of impeachment against former US President Donald Trump for inciting the riot at the Capitol building on January 6.
11:57 R-Day Parade culminates with Rafale fying
The 72nd Republic Day parade culminates with a single Rafale aircraft flying at a speed of 900km/hr carrying out a Vertical Charlie.
The aircraft is piloted by Gp Capt Harkirat Singh, Shaurya Chakra, Commanding Officer of 17 Squadron with Sqn Ldr Kislaykant.
11:43 Rafale fighter jet participates in R-Day parade
As part of the grand finale of the parade, a Rafale with 2 Jaguar Deep penetration strike aircraft & 2 MiG-29 Air Superiority Fighters, in the 'Eklavya formation feature in the Republic Day parade.
The formation is led by Group Captain Rohit Kataria, Flight Commander of 17 Squadron.
The Rafale fighter jets, India's first acquisition of fighter jets in more than two decades, participated in the Republic Day for the first time.
11:35 IAF birds take to the skies at R-Day parade
'Rudra' formation comprising a Dakota aircraft flanked by 2 Mi-17 IV helicopters.
Dakotas were instrumental in airlifting troops into Kashmir Valley to repel invaders from across border in 1947.
They played a significant role in Tangail airdrop leading to Bangladesh's libeartion
11:27 Cops tear gas farmers at Delhi border
Cops have used tear gas and lathi charged after groups of protesting farmers camping at Singhu and Tikri border points of the national capital broke police barricades today to force their way into the city.
According to officials, security personnel tried to convince the farmers that they have been given permission to hold their tractor parade in Delhi after the Republic Day parade at the Rajpath concludes.
"But some groups of farmers did not relent and started moving towards the Outer Ring Road breaking police barricades," an official said.
11:17 Tableau of Department of Biotechnology depicts process of Covid-19 vaccine development
With the theme of 'Aatma-Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan: COVID' the tableau of the Department of Biotechnology depicts the process of Covid-19 vaccine development through various processes.
11:07 Ram Temple features in UP's tableau at R-Day parade
Designed after the theme 'Ayodhya: Cultural Heritage of Uttar Pradesh', the tableau of Uttar Pradesh also displays Ram Mandir.
The forepart of the middle tableau shows Deepotsava of Ayodhya, in which millions of earthen lamps are lit.
10:58 Republic is from you, it belongs to you: Rahul wishes people on R-Day
India's fate is determined by its every citizen, whether it is the 'satyagrahi' farmer, labourer, small and medium businessman, young job seeker or a housewife troubled by inflation, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said on Tuesday as he greeted people on Republic Day.
India is celebrating its 72nd Republic Day, the day its Constitution came into force in 1950.
"Every citizen of India determines the fate of the country, whether it is the 'satyagrahi' farmer-labourer or small-medium businessman, young job seeker or a housewife troubled by inflation," Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi.
"The Republic is from you, the Republic belongs to you," he said, extending best wishes to people on the occasion.
The Congress, on its official Twitter handle, said, "We shall never forget the struggles and sacrifices our brave hearts had to make to bring us freedom and our own Constitution. This Republic Day, let's renew our sacred vow to uphold justice, liberty, equality and fraternity. Jai Hind!"
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also wished people on Republic Day and raised the slogan, "Jai Jawaan, Jai Kisaan".
10:54 Ladakh tableau makes debut at R-Day parade
The display of cultural tableaux begins at the Republic Day parade, with Ladakh leading.
It's the first-ever tableau of the Union Territory.
It shows Ladakh's culture and communal harmony besides art & architecture, languages & dialects, customs & costumes, fairs & festivals, literature, music.
10:38 IAF's first female fighter pilot at R-Day parade
Flight Lt Bhawna Kanth, one of the first three female fighter pilots of the country, is part of the Indian Air Force tableau at the Republic Day parade.
Kanth is part of the Indian Air Force's tableau that showcased mock-ups of the light combat aircraft, light combat helicopter and the Sukhoi-30 fighter jet.
Posted at an airbase in Rajasthan, she flies the MiG-21 Bison fighter plane at present.
Kanth hails from Darbhanga in Bihar. She was born and brought up in Begusarai, where her father worked as an engineer in IOCL. She completed her schooling at the Barauni Refinery DAV Public School and graduated with a bachelor of engineering in medical electronics from BMS College of Engineering in Bengaluru. Other than flying planes, Kanth loves playing badminton, volleyball, and adventure sports and is also interested in photography, cooking, swimming, and travelling.
10:30 Meet the only woman contingent commander from the Indian Army
Captain Preeti Choudhary of 140 Air Defence Regiment (Self Propelled) leads upgraded Schilka Weapon system.
She is the only woman contingent commander from the Indian Army at the Republic Day parade 2021.
Schilka Weapon system is equipped with modern radar and digital fire control computers.
The marching contingent Garhwal Rifles is led by Captain Rajpoot Saurabh Singh of 17th Battalion
10:25 Troops march down Rajpath with masks
The Republic Day parade is underway and the marching contingents begin with one of the oldest & most decorated -- the Jat Regiment.
The war cry of the regiment is Jat Balwan Jai Bhagwan.
It was this regiment known as Bengal Native Infantry which in the 19th century brought back the gates of Somnath temple to India from Afghanistan.
Image: The marching contingent Garhwal Rifles is led by Captain Rajpoot Saurabh Singh of 17th Battalion
10:16 Lt Gen Vijay Kumar Mishra leads R-Day parade
Lieutenant General Vijay Kumar Mishra, Ati Vishisth Seva medal, General Officer Commanding Delhi Area, leads this year's Republic Day parade.
Major General Alok Kacker, Chief of Staff, Delhi Area is the Parade Second-in-Command.
Indian Armed forces are all set to display its military might during the annual parade.
10:06 PM's special 'Paghdi' from Jamnagar
Prime Minister Modi is wearing a special 'Paghdi' from Jamnagar, today.
The first such 'Paghdi' was gifted to the PM by the royal family of Jamnagar, Gujarat.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has arrived at Rajpath for the parade after paying tribute to martyred soldiers at India Gate's National War Memorial.
While President Ram Nath, the supreme commander of the armed forces, is also at the parade venue.
09:48 India reports only 9,102 new Covid cases in 24 hours
India reports 9,102 new COVID-19 cases, 15,901 discharges and 117 deaths in last 24 hours, as per figures provided by the health ministry.
Total cases: 1,06,76,838
Active cases: 1,77,266
Total discharges: 1,03,45,985
Death toll: 1,53,587
Total vaccinated: 20,23,809
09:42 PM Modi pays homage to soldiers at War Memorial
Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived at Rajpath as India celebrates its 72nd Republic Day.
PM Narendra Modi lead the nation in paying tribute to the fallen soldiers by laying a wreath at the National War Memorial at the India Gate.
Till 2020, prime ministers did this at the Amar Jawan Jyoti under the India Gate.
Interestingly, it was in 1971 that Indira Gandhi got Amar Jawan Jyoti made under the canopy of India Gate for dead & unknown soldiers.
09:33 Internet temporarily suspended across Kashmir
Mobile internet services have been temporarily suspended across Kashmir valley as a security measure, in view of Republic Day celebrations.
India will celebrate its 72nd Republic Day on Tuesday. The nation's military might, cultural diversity, social and economic progress will be on display at the Rajpath in the national capital today.
Apart from tableaus of armed forces, 17 tableaus from different states and nine tableaus from different ministries/departments of the central government and paramilitary forces and six from ministry of defence will also be on display during the annual parade.
09:13 Strict coronavirus measures maintained for R-Day parade
Spectators at Delhi's Rajpath seated following strict social distancing protocols due to COVID-19.
Keeping in mind the pandemic, gravity-defying stunts by motorcycle-borne men will be missing and the spectator size too has been reduced to 25,000 from around 1.25 lakh last year.
The parade of children who receive bravery awards will also be missing.
Keeping in mind social distancing, the size of marching contingents has been reduced from 144 to 96. Also, all members of the tableaux contingents from various states, ministries and government departments have undergone Covid testing.
09:03 Officers invited to R-Day parade will have to compulsorily attend the function: Govt
Officers invited to the Republic Day parade will have to compulsorily attend the function, failing which will lead to a serious view against those who are absent, the government has communicated to all ministries.
In a communication to all secretary rank officers of the central government, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba has said that due to the pandemic, the seating capacity at the official function at Rajpath has been decreased to just 25 per cent of the original capacity.
In his letter, Gauba said the Republic Day ceremony at Rajpath is an important national function held every year on January 26 and considering the importance of the ceremony, it is expected that all the officers, who are invited, attend the event.
In view of social distancing requirements imposed due to COVID-19, the seating capacity this year has been decreased to 25 per cent of the original capacity. It is all the more important, therefore, that the officers who are invited attend the ceremony as part of their duty.
08:39 Farmers break through barricades at Singhu
Ahead of tractor rally today, farmers broke through the first line of police barricades at Singhu border. These farmers were trying to enter Delhi.
The farmers group which broke through barricades to enter Delhi has been identified as the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee of Punjab.
The main Sanyukt Kisan Morcha march is yet to begin.
Farmers at Delhi's three protest sites -- Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur border points will take out a massive tractor rally against the farm laws. The routes will cover over 100 kilometres of distance in the national capital.
Protesting farmer unions opposing the three contentious farm laws said their parade will not enter central Delhi and it will start only after the official Republic Day parade concludes.
08:14 PM Modi greets nation on Republic Day
Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted the nation on Tuesday on the occasion of Republic Day.
India is celebrating its 72nd Republic Day, the day its Constitution came into force in 1950.
"Wishing all the people of India a Happy Republic Day. Jai Hind!" Modi tweeted.
07:49 Tight security for R-Day, tractor parade
With the national capital on Tuesday witnessing two big events -- Republic Day celebrations and a farmers' tractor parade -- the city has been brought under heavy security cover with deployment of thousands of security personnel in central Delhi and several border points.
The Samkyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of 41 unions leading protests against the Centre's farm laws, said their tractor parade will not enter central Delhi and it will start only after the official Republic Day parade on Rajpath concludes.
The unions said around two lakh tractors are expected to participate in their parade, which will move into the city from three border points--Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur (UP Gate).
According to the unions, there is no limit on vehicles.
Patrolling has been intensified at power substations in Delhi following a threat from the banned Sikhs for Justice outfit to disrupt the city's supply during the Republic Day celebrations.
An official said around 6,000 security personnel have been deployed to maintain vigil. Facial recognition systems have also been set up at vantage points for suspect identification, the official said.
The security personnel are keeping a hawk-eyed vigil over Rajpath, where President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be celebrating the occasion along with other dignitaries and thousands of people.
Checking and frisking at Rajghat will be done by personnel in PPE kits, with mask and face shield, keeping in line with COVID-19 protocols, the official said.
A five-layer security cover has been deployed in and around the city to maintain law and order, a senior police officer said.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Eish Singhal said more than 6,000 police personnel have been deployed at Rajpath for the Republic Day celebrations.
00:05 Take new virus variants seriously: Dr Fauci
A public health crisis is difficult to be tackled when there is divisiveness in a country and it can be a really harmful message when wearing a mask becomes a political statement, eminent physician-scientist Dr Anthony Fauci said on Monday.
He said that the new variants of the virus must be taken seriously and paid attention to it as it evolves, though the good news is that it does not seem to affect the efficacy of the vaccine.
Speaking at a panel discussion on 'Responding to the COVID-19 Crisis' at the World Economic Forum's online Davos Agenda Summit, Fauci said, "In the US, one of the key findings was the challenges of divisiveness and the politicisation of the crisis."
"It makes it extremely problematic to address a public health crisis when you are in the middle of divisiveness in the country," said Fauci, Director, US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
"When public health issues become politically charged -- when wearing or not wearing a mask is a political statement -- you can't imagine how harmful that is to a public health message," he said.
Close to 10 crore people have got infected and over 21 lakh have died of COVID-19 since its outbreak was first reported in China in late 2019.
At the same panel, Greece Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said responding to the COVID-19 crisis is not rocket science.
Drawing from lessons from Greece's efforts to counter the pandemic, he said, "Go with what the experts tell you. If you have to take a bold decision, especially if it's painful economically, take it early."
Nancy Brown, American Heart Association CEO, said there is a need to rethink how health care is delivered in America.
"The pandemic shone a light on the vulnerabilities of the health care system... But I want to give a shout-out to the healthcare workers who have worked tirelessly to serve the people in their communities," she said.
Frans van Houten, CEO of Royal Philips, emphasised the importance of creating a "supply chain that worked."
"When a crisis hits, you should not have the path of action to say, 'me first.' We have to collaborate to scale the response," he added.
Fauci emphasised the importance of getting the second dose of the vaccine as suggested to ensure protection against the virus and the variants. Fauci also argued that we must be prepared to update the vaccine as the variants evolved.
"The vaccines that we are using now will be good against both the mutant in South Africa and the UK," he said. "Having said that, this is an evolving situation, so what we need to do, and are doing, is already looking to making an upgraded version of the vaccine that could address both the South Africa mutant and the one in the UK."
On when will life return to normal, Mitsotakis said it depends on the vaccinations and compliance of basic public health practices to prevent the spread.
"We want to make it easier for people to travel when they get vaccinated. Until then, it's touch and go," he added.
Brown said the pandemic has shone a light on the need for universal health coverage.
"For us to have people live longer healthier lives -- in a pandemic or not -- starts with every person having access to high quality, affordable health care," she said. -- PTI