Antony to inaugurate pageant

Display of weapons and equipment, fly past by fighter jets and helicopters, and various cultural events will mark the Army Mela here on December 10 under aegis of the Southern Army Command.

The mela would allow the public to see the Army's facilities and capabilities and create awareness among ex-service personnel on various welfare schemes being implemented for them, Defence Security Corps Centre Deputy Commandant V.U. Manoj said at a press meet here on Monday.

The mela would also include a military pageant and facilities for ex-service persons to redress their grievances and to get assistance. A stall would be opened for those interested in participating in the Army's recruitment drive.

The pageant to be held at the Jawahar Stadium here from 2.30 p.m. on December 10 would be inaugurated by Defence Minister A.K. Antony.

The spectacle would start with the fly past by fighter aircraft including Dornier light transport aircraft and helicopters of the Indian Air Force, Lt. Col. Manoj said. There would be para-motoring, sky diving, hot-air balloon flying, performance by the Army's Dare Devil motorcycle riders, horse show and dog show and band display, etc.

The exhibition of weapons would begin at the Police Maidan at 8.30 a.m.

The show would feature T-72 tanks, armoured personnel carriers, BrahMos missiles, anti-tank guided missiles, rocket launchers, various improvised explosive devices, and nuclear, biological and chemical warfare suit, artillery guns and bridging equipment.

Maj. Gen. A.K. Pradhan, General Officer Commanding (Karntataka and Kerala Sub Area) would formally open the exhibition. Both the exhibition and the pageant would be open to the public, Lt. Col. Manoj said. A full dress rehearsal of the Army Mela programmes on December 8 would also be open to the public, he added.

Help stalls

Ex-servicemen grievance/help stalls would be opened by various regiments and corps and also by the Sailors Bureau and the IAF. A free medical camp would also be organised for the retired jawans.

The district administration, the Kannur municipality and the police extended their cooperation for holding the mela, which would culminate with a cultural event and display of fireworks.