Army will also conduct mounted band displays along some of the Covid-19 hospitals in almost every district of the country
Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen Bipin Rawat said on Friday at that in order to express gratitude towards those involved in fight against coronavirus, the armed forces will undertake a number of activities on Sunday including flypast by Indian Air Force aircraft, showering of petals on hospitals from helicopters and display of light by Navy ships among others.
Army will also conduct mounted band displays along some of the Covid-19 hospitals in almost every district of the country.
In order to express solidarity with police force, Gen Rawat said Indian Army will lay wreath at police memorials across the country on Sunday morning.
“On behalf of defence services we have decided to express our gratitude to all the corona warriors, every person involved to provide support to the nation and its people to ensure all of us remain safe and we are able to overcome this problem,” said Gen Rawat at a press conference which was also attended by chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force.
This was the first joint press conference by Gen Rawat along with three service chiefs after creation of the post of CDS.
Indian Air Force will conduct flypast from Srinagar to Trivandrum and from Dibrugarh in Assam to Kutch in Gujarat.
The flypast will include both transport and fighter aircraft. Indian Navy will also have its warships deployed in formations in coastal areas in Sunday evening.
In US, Air Force’s Thunderbirds and the Navy’s Blue Angels have been conducting fly pasts through out the country to express support for health care workers fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, Gen Rawat announcement evoked a sharp reaction from some on social media who questioned need to conduct such activities when armed forces are cutting costs due to budget constraints.
“Who’s idea is this? Showering petals from helicopters! Band displays outside hospitals? Circus of the ridiculous,” tweeted one Army veteran. “Why are the Armed Forces being used as the official cheer leaders to express gratitude to the tireless Corona health care workers, doctors, support staff and nameless others on 03 May. This was not the military I served in. Just saddened and disappointed that this will happen,” said a tweet by another veteran.
Gen Rawat also asserted that no operational task has been affected or will be affected due to the Covid-19 pandemic. He said it is not proper to conclude that the novel coronavirus outbreak is a result of biological warfare.