When Prime Minister Manmohan Singh heads for Paris next month for the French national day celebrations on July 14, to which he has been invited as the guest of honour, a delegation of 144 battle-hardened soldiers will accompany him. However, they will not be part of his security detail but will take part in the French national day parade.
Experts say this will be perhaps the first time when an Indian Army delegation will march at another country’s national celebrations. The Army has put together over 100 counter-insurgency specialist soldiers from the Maratha Light Infantry (MLI) to take part in the parade, and they are currently undergoing rigorous training at Belgaum to show off their best before the French public.
For the second occasion the MLIRC contingent was awarded the First place in the Republic day parade. All the members of the contingent will get Rs.50 thousand and a memento.