fleet review

Pranab, Modi review India's naval might in Visakhapatnam

INDIA-POLITICS-DEFENCE Indian Navy personnel abseil from a helicopter as they take part in a demonstration routine ahead of the International Fleet Review in Visakhapatnam | AFP

President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar arrived in Visakhapatnam on Saturday to take part in the second edition of the International Fleet Review (IFR) 2016.

The president, who is also commander-in-chief of the Indian armed forces, will review the country's naval might and prowess comprising 75 frontline ships and submarines.

About 50 countries are taking part in the biggest every maritime event.

The event provides an ample opportunity for India to strengthen its cooperation ties with other maritime nations.

In the meanwhile elaborate security arrangements have been put in place in the light of the terror threat.

As part of security arrangement police have said nobody will be allowed at IFR main venue on February 7 without valid entry pass accompanied by an identity card.

Police Commissioner Amit Garg said the district administration has issued 1.5 lakh passes for general public to watch IFR activities on February 7 at Beach Road here. The passes will be cross checked with photo ID before admission.

Pass holders will have to carry at least one photo identity card such as Aadhaar, driving licence, PAN and passport, for entry into the venue, Additional DG (Law and Order) R. P. Thakur said.

The IFR was formally opened on Friday evening at a colourful ceremony, which saw a dash of cultural performance, Andhra Pradesh origin dance forms and scintillating show by the Sri Lankan Naval band and dance troupe.

The ceremony was held at Command Stadium, INS Satavahana where Governor of Andhra Pradeshi E S. L. Narasimhan was the chief guest, while Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu was the Guest of Honour.

The highlight was the presence of Bollywood stars Akshay Kumar and Kangana Ranaut, the brand ambassadors of IFR.

Cultural performances by Shiamak Davar troupe kept the adrenaline level high, while Joe Barua Band, medley by Sameer and Abhiruchi enthralled the audience.

Traditional Andhra Pradesh origin dance forms Kuchipudi and Dhimsa were showcased by the Gandham group. The programme culminated with a scintillating performance of the Sri Lankan Naval band and dance troupe.

State Ministers, MPs, Member of Legislative Assembly and Council of Andhra Pradesh and delegation heads of Navies from several countries graced the occasion. In addition, officers and crew members of visiting foreign ships also attended the mega event.

(With inputs from PTI)

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