10 Oct : President Pratibha Patil will now have a new set of bodyguards as neatly dressed troops of the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles took charge from the Assam regiment during a ceremonial ‘Changing of the Guard’ in New Delhi.
Amid the trot of the horses and tunes of military band, the 15th battalion of the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles (JAKRIF) took over after the older regiment accomplished its tenure of three years as the President’s Bodyguard (PBG).
During the 45-minute ceremony outside the South block, soldiers performed the inspection of the new Guard, nomination of sentries, a formal march to the post while the guards exchanged compliments.
With the Naval band playing in the background, the new Guards marched from the Rashtrapati Bhavan to the Dominion Columns lining the two wings of the Central secretariat.
The new Guard then stood alongside the old ones and the Commanding Officer of the Assam Regiment handed over the keys to his JAKRIF counterpart.
School students, general public and a host of dignitaries gathered to witness the impressive ceremony which involved smartly dressed troops and their caparisoned and muscled horses.
The President’s Bodyguard (PBG), named so after India became a Republic, was raised in 1773 at Varanasi by the then Governor Warren Hastings.