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  4. In break from tradition, Modi to be first PM to address nation from Red Fort after sunset on April 21

In break from tradition, Modi to be first PM to address nation from Red Fort after sunset on April 21

PM Modi will be addressing the nation from the lawns of the Red Fort and not its ramparts. The ramparts of the Red Fort is from where prime ministers addresses the nation on Independence Day.

Shashwat Bhandari Edited by: Shashwat Bhandari @ShashBhandari New Delhi Published on: April 19, 2022 20:24 IST
Security personnel stand guard outside the historic Red
Image Source : PTI

Security personnel stand guard outside the historic Red Fort.

Highlights

  • Modi will address nation from Red Fort to mark 400th birth anniversary of Guru Tegh Bahadur
  • Modi will be addressing the nation from the lawns of the Red Fort and not its ramparts
  • Multi-layered security has been put in place ahead of PM's address

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation from the Red Fort on Thursday night to mark the 400th birth anniversary of Guru Tegh Bahadur, the first prime minister to deliver a speech at the Mughal-era monument after sunset.

Modi will be addressing the nation from the lawns of the Red Fort and not its ramparts.

Why Red Fort chosen as venue for PM Modi's speech?

The fort was chosen as the venue for the event as it was from here that Mughal ruler Aurangzeb had given orders for the execution of Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Sikh Guru, in 1675, according to officials of the culture ministry.

The ramparts of the Red Fort is from where prime ministers addresses the nation on Independence Day.

Prime Minister Modi will speak at 9.30 pm on Thursday and his speech will be about interfaith peace and harmony among communities, according to the officials.

Other than Independence Day, this is the second time that Modi will be making a speech from the monument.

In 2018, he had hoisted the national flag at the monument and commemorated the 75th anniversary of the formation of the Azad Hind Government by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. His address on this occasion was at 9 am.

The Thursday event will have performances by 400 Sikh musicians and there will also be a langar. Modi will also release a commemorative coin and postage stamp to mark the occasion, the officials said.

Close to the Red Fort, is the Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib in Chandni Chowk.

It was built at the site where Guru Tegh Bahadur was beheaded by the Mughals, they said, adding that Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib, which is near Parliament, was built at his cremation site.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday will start off the event, which will be attended by 11 chief ministers and prominent Sikh leaders from across the country.

The families of 400 Sikh 'jathedars' have also been invited, including those from the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

Multi-layer security cover for PM Modi 

A multi-layered security ring, comprising over 1,000 Delhi Police personnel and forces from various agencies, will be put in place at the Red Fort from where PM Modi will address the nation on the 400th Parkash Purab of Sikh guru Tegh Bahadur on April 21, officials said.

More than 100 CCTV cameras have already been installed inside the Red Fort premises, including the spot from where the PM Modi will address the nation. Modi will also release a commemorative coin and postage stamp on the occasion.

According to officials, the security ring, including NSG snipers, SWAT commandos, kite catchers, canine units and sharpshooters on high-rise buildings, would be deployed at the Mughal-era fort, and adherence to social distancing norms will be mandatory amid the rising Covid cases in the capital.

"We have made adequate security arrangements. We are working in-coordination with multiple security agencies to ensure all arrangements are in place even from the anti-sabotage view."

"The historic monument has been completely secured with multi-layered security arrangements that we usually have during Independence Day. We also need to be extra vigilant because of the tense situation in violence-hit Jahangirpuri," said a senior police officer.

The footage from the CCTV cameras will be monitored round-the-clock in police control rooms situated in and around the Red Fort area, he said.

Officials said agencies have been extra vigilant and have stepped up the security near the historic monument in the wake of clash during a Hanuman Jayanti procession in the city's Jahangirpuri area on Saturday in which nine policemen and a civilian were injured.

Since then, intensive patrolling is being carried out, Central Armed Police Forces have been already deployed in the sensitive areas of north Delhi -- Chandni Mahal, Hauz Qazi and the market areas -- as a preventive measure to ensure no untoward incident takes places, officials added.

"Our teams and the special branch unit of the Delhi Police will also have their own teams keeping a strict vigil. The all women SWAT team of the force, like always, will be part of the security arrangements along with deployment of PCR. "'PRAKHAR' vans will also be deployed for intensive patrolling in and around the area according to the programme schedule," the officer said.

According to the Union Culture and Tourism Ministry, four hundred 'ragis' (Sikh musicians) will perform in a 'Shabad Kirtan' to mark the auspicious occasion, the ministry said. The programme will be organised by the ministry in collaboration with the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee.

Chief ministers of many states and several prominent personalities from across the country and abroad will be part of the celebrations.

This programme on the 400th Parkash Purab (birth anniversary) of Sikh Guru Tegh Bahadur is being organised as part of the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.

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