With no march past of police battalions, reduced presence of police personnel and dwindled number of guests, the Independence Day function this year will be different in Madhya Pradesh's Bhopal due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Even as the lockdown has been removed by the Madhya Pradesh government in a phased manner, the state is still gripped by rising cases of coronavirus infections. Resulting to the pandemic, the main function of August 15 will only be held in Bhopal this year.
As against 18 battalions which usually take part in the celebratory function of Independence Day, only eight battalions have been allowed for the event this year at Motilal Nehru Stadium. Scouts, guide, NCC, Shaurya Dal, battalions of retired jawans and others have been excluded from the event.
These eight battalions including – Women Platoon, District Police Force, Special Armed Force, STF, Home Guards, Jail police and police band - will be taking part in the function.
The battalions will fire three celebratory shots in the vent and jawans will be take 16 steps each in place of the march past. In order to follow the social distancing norm, the police personnel will take position at a distance of six feet from each other and 28 jawans in each battalion will be led by their platoon commanders. Normally, 45 jawans are present in each battalion.
The I-Day event will conclude after the address of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
To avoid crowding, maximum 500 guests have been allowed inside the event venue and there would not be any felicitation of the police personnel. General public has been barred from taking part in the event.
No district is allowed to hold major function on the occasion of the Independence Day.
So far, total cases of Covid-19 have reached 7,961 in Bhopal city and 31,239 in Madhya Pradesh by Wednesday.