In pictures: India marks Republic Day with military parade

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AFP

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The event included dances from schoolchildren

India has celebrated its 71st Republic Day with a parade showing off its military might and cultural diversity.

The holiday marks the anniversary of India officially adopting its constitution.

Thousands of people gathered on a ceremonial boulevard in Delhi to watch the colourful parade amid tight security.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the event offered “glimpses of India’s military and security prowess” and its many cultures.

But the day was also marked by protests over a controversial new citizenship law.

Large crowds greeted Mr Modi as he joined the celebrations in Delhi on Sunday, flanked by security personnel.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi (C) waves to the spectators as he attends the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on 26 January 2020.Image copyright
AFP

Fighter jets flew over the parade in an aerial display.

Fighter jets fly over the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on 26 January 2020.Image copyright
AFP

An anti-satellite (ASAT) weapon system was also paraded along the Rajpath, a ceremonial avenue. India last year became the fourth country to carry out an ASAT test, when it destroyed one of its own satellites in low-Earth orbit.

A DRDO anti-satellite weapon from Mission Shakti is marched along Rajpath during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on 26 January 2020.Image copyright
AFP

Police personnel performed motorcycle stunts, showing off the country’s weaponry and flag.

Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) women motorcycle team members perform during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on 26 January 2020.Image copyright
AFP

Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) women motorcycle team members perform during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on 26 January 2020.Image copyright
AFP

Personnel from the Coast Guard, Sikh Light Infantry Regiment and Central Reserve Police Force were among those marching in formation at the event.

India's Coast Guard Marching Contingent marches during the 71st Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi, India, 26 January 2020.Image copyright
EPA

India's Sikh Light Infantry Regiment marches during the 71st Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi, India, 26 January 2020.Image copyright
EPA

India's Central Reserve Police Force Marching Contingent marches during the 71st Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi, India, 26 January 2020Image copyright
EPA

Members of the border security forces mounted camels adorned with tassels and pom-poms, carrying weapons or playing instruments as they rode along the boulevard.

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers play music as they ride their camels during India's Republic Day parade in New Delhi, India, January, 26, 2020.Image copyright
Reuters

Border Security Force (BSF) personnel ride camels along Rajpath during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on January 26, 2020Image copyright
AFP

Elaborate floats representing different Indian states also joined the parade.

A float from Chhattisgarh state is displayed during India's Republic Day parade in New Delhi, India, 26 January.Image copyright
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A float from Goa state is displayed during India's Republic Day parade in New Delhi, 26 January 2020.Image copyright
Reuters

Schoolchildren dressed in traditional outfits danced in front of cheering spectators.

Schoolchildren dance on Rajpath during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on January 26, 2020.Image copyright
AFP

Events were also held in other cities across the country.

In Noida, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, officers performed their last salute with historic British-era bolt-action rifles.

The Lee-Enfield .303 rifle was the main firearm of British colonial military forces and has continued to be used by police in Uttar Pradesh. But they are now being decommissioned and swapped for newer weapons.

Police personnel take part in a Republic Day parade with Lee-Enfield .303 rifles in Noida on 26 January 2020.Image copyright
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In Bangalore, dogs used by the security forces marched alongside officials.

India's Security Forces' Dog Squad marches during the 71st Republic Day celebrations in Bangalore, India, 26 January 2020.Image copyright
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Army personnel from a daredevil bike team also performed stunts at the city’s celebrations.

An Indian Army Jawan (soldier) belonging to the "ASC Tornadoes" daredevil bike team performs during the 71st Republic Day celebrations in Bangalore, India, 26 January 2020.Image copyright
EPA

An Indian Army Jawan (soldier) belonging to the "ASC Tornadoes" daredevil bike team performs during the 71st Republic Day celebrations in Bangalore, India, 26 January 2020.Image copyright
EPA

An event at the Sher-i-Kashmir cricket Stadium in Srinagar included dance performances.

Youths dance during the Republic Day parade at Sher-i-Kashmir cricket Stadium in Srinagar on 26 January 2020.Image copyright
AFP

But the day was also marked by protests. Many demonstrated over a controversial law that offers citizenship to non-Muslims fleeing religious persecution from three nearby countries.

Here, protesters in Kolkata form a human chain in the road to show opposition to the legislation, while a large rally takes place on the outskirts of Mumbai.

Demonstrators form a human chain after Republic Day celebrations to protest against a new citizenship law in Kolkata, India, 26 January 2020.Image copyright
Reuters

Indian Muslim women protesters shout slogans during a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC), in Mumbra on the outskirts of Mumbai, India, 26 January 2020.Image copyright
EPA

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