New Delhi [India], January 21 (ANI): In a historical move by the Centre ahead of the Republic Day celebrations, the Amar Jawan Jyoti or the "eternal flame" for soldiers at India Gate was merged with the torch at the National War Memorial in a ceremony on Friday.
A part of the flame was carried to the war memorial this afternoon in a ceremony that was presided by the Integrated Defence Staff chief Air Marshal Balabadhra Radha Krishna.
Krishna laid a wreath after which a torch was lit from the Amar Jawan Jyoti and the flame doused.
The torch was then taken to the national war memorial by a ceremonial guard from Guards Regiment of the Indian Army.
After travelling for around 150 metres, the torch was used to symbolically merge the flame from Amar Jawan Jyoti with the one at the National War Memorial.
Air Marshal Krishna presided over the ceremony at both the locations.
The India Gate memorial was built by the British government in memory of the British Indian Army soldiers who lost their lives between 1914-1921.
However, the Amar Jawan Jyoti was included in the memorial structure in the 1970s after the massive victory of India over Pakistan in which 93,000 troops of the enemy country surrendered.
After a long wait and multiple considerations, the National War Memorial was built in the India Gate complex by the Narendra Modi government and was inaugurated in 2019.
After the inauguration of the building in War memorial, all military ceremonial events were shifted to it from the India Gate memorial.
The National War Memorial has the names of all the Indian defence personnel who have lost their lives in different operations from the 1947-48 war with Pakistan to the Galwan valley clash with Chinese troops.
The names of troops who lost lives in the counter-terrorist operations are also included on the walls of the memorial.
Meanwhile, retired Army officers welcomed and hailed the decision by the Centre.
Lieutenant General (Retd), Former Director-General of Military Operations (DGMO) Indian Army, Vinod Bhatia on Friday hailed the Centre's decision to merge Amar Jawan Jyoti with the War Memorial Memorial and said: "it is a good decision".
The 1971 war veteran and former Army Deputy Chief Lieutenant General JBS Yadava (Retd) also supported the Centre's decision and said "Amar Jawan Jyoti should be merged with National War Memorial. There should be only one war memorial in the country." (ANI)