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PM Modi’s warm farewell to Virat, the Commandant’s Charger from President’s Bodyguard who is retiring this year

The President's Bodyguard (PBG) is an elite cavalry regiment of the Indian Army. The regiment is based in the Rashtrapati Bhavan and the recruited personnel are all paratroopers.

Soon after the Republic Day parade concluded, the visuals of PM Narendra Modi petting a horse have started doing rounds on social media. With PM Modi is also seen Defence Minister Rajnath Singh while they were later joined by the President of India Ram Nath Kovind and the First Lady Savita Kovind in adoring the retiring horse.

The Republic Day Parade ended with full colour and fervour on the newly refurbished Rajpath. While biding the farewell to the President of India who graced the occasion, PM Modi was introduced to Virat, a horse with the President’s Bodyguard who is about to retire from its exemplary services.

As the contingent of the President’s Bodyguard astride on the horses came to receive the President, PM Modi, Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh and the President himself were seen warmly greeting and petting the horse. This was the last Republic Day service for Virat, as the horse retires from its duty this year.

Virat – The Commandent’s charger with the President’s Bodyguard

Virat, a Hanoverian breed horse was inducted to the President’s Bodyguard (PBG) on September 12, 2000. He has been the Commandant’s Charger for over a decade and was very popular among spectators and even visiting foreign dignitaries. For his exemplary services, Virat was awarded the Chief of the Army Staff Commendation on the eve of Army Day on January 15 this year.

Virat had participated in 13 Republic Day parades so far, as per reports.

Officials while bidding a farewell to the old horse have praised it for the abilities it showcased over the years. Within a short span of time, Virat rose to become the most trustworthy Parade Horse and perpetually graced the Republic Day Parades and the Beating the Retreat ceremonies held every year.

The warm gesture by political leaders to show their love to Virat has sparked gleeful reactions from people on Twitter. While the informal move has yet again underlined what an important role the trained animals play in guarding the nation.

The President’s Bodyguard

The President’s Bodyguard (PBG) is an elite cavalry regiment of the Indian Army. The regiment is based in the Rashtrapati Bhavan and the recruited personnel are all paratroopers. While their role is ceremonial during peace, they are trained to perform reconnaissance and work as parachute pathfinders during the war. The Indian Army is one of the few modern forces in the world that still have active cavalry units. The PBG, the 61 Cavalry Regiment BSF camel regiment are the operational cavalry units of the Indian security forces.

The PBG is the oldest regiment of the Indian Amry. It is the successor of the Governor General’s Bodyguards under the British Raj and it was first raised by Governor-General Warren Hastings in 1773. In 1950, with the formation of the Indian Republic, it was formally named the President’s Bodyguards.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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