Republic Day celebrations were marred by three low-intensity explosions in Assam, and clashes and curfew in Uttar Pradesh's Kasganj, where one person was killed in violence.
Republic Day celebrations were marred by three low-intensity explosions in Assam, and clashes and curfew in Uttar Pradesh’s Kasganj, where one person was killed in violence. However, colourful tableaux, synchronised parades, and enthusiasm and excitement among students marked the day in rest of the country as it celebrated the 69th Republic Day amid tight security. A 16-year-old boy was killed and at least two persons injured in clashes that erupted following stone-pelting at a motorcycle rally by VHP and ABVP volunteers on the Mathura-Bareilly Highway to mark the Republic Day, police said. The district administration has imposed curfew in the trouble-hit area. “One person died during arson, firing and stone pelting, while two others sustained injuries today. The deceased has been identified as Chandan (16). Curfew has been imposed in the city,” District Magistrate R P Singh said.
Assam’s Tinsukia district was hit by three low-intensity explosions, suspected to have been carried out by ULFA (Independent) insurgents, police said. There was no report of any casualty, they said. Police said two blasts occurred within a gap of a few minutes in a drain near the Jagun police station, and the other one at Tirap colliery near the Ledo police station. Director General of Police Mukesh Sahay told reporters in Guwahati the explosions were of low intensity and was carried out by the ULFA(I) to prove its existence.
In other sates, Governors unfurled the tricolour and outlined its achievements while also urging the citizens of the Republic to take pledge to meet the challenges ahead. In Kashmir, all Republic Day programmes, including the main event in Srinagar, were uneventful amid heightened security measures in view of intelligence reports suggesting that militants might target the functions. Governor N N Vohra said Pakistan’s continuing proxy war for the past three decades to destabilize the state has adversely affected its growth and development. He said 2017 was marked by Pakistan’s sustained attempts to infiltrate the largest possible number of terrorists into the Valley. V P Singh Badnore, Punjab Governor and the administrator of UT Chandigarh, unfurled the national flag in Pathankot, while Haryana Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki hoisted the tricolour in Ambala.
Meanwhile, two Saudi nationals and an Indian, carrying a satellite phone, were detained in Pokhran town of Rajasthan for allegedly hatching a conspiracy to disturb peace and harmony, police said. Jaisalmer Superintendent of Police Gaurav Yadav said they will be interrogated by a joint team of military intelligence and Jaisalmer police. Possession of satellite phone without authorisation is not allowed in the country.
Bihar Governor Satya Pal Malik hoisted the tricolour at the famous Gandhi Maidan at Patna on the occasion and said the state was working for the development of all sections of the society. The ceremony was attended by a host of dignitaries, including Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi.
Later in the day, the CM hoisted the flag at his official residence and at a “Mahadalit Tola” in Punpun block of rural Patna. In neighbouring Jharkhand, after unfurling the tricolour, Governor Droupadi Murmu said the state is second only to Gujarat in terms of growth rate in the country. West Bengal Governor K N Tripathi hoisted the tricolor at Red Road in Kolkata. He also presided over an hour-long marchpast of the armed forces, police forces and civilians, including school students.
Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi said the state government is working on a Rs 1,500-crore project for protection measures against flood and erosion problem. Hoisting the tricolour on the occasion, Mukhi said, “The state government has embarked upon a project under the nomenclature ‘Assam: Flood, Erosion and River Management Modernisation Project’ at a tentative cost of Rs 1,500 crore.
Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao addressed a gathering at Shivaji Park in Mumbai after reviewing an impressive parade to mark the day. Tableaux on P-21 surface-to-surface missile, surface-to-air missile, Rakshak Bulletproof vehicle, Mahila Suraksha Pathak vehicle, Jalyukta Shivar scheme, were a part of the parade. In Telangana, Governor E S L Narasimhan in his Republic Day speeh said the state government would introduce a separate budget for agriculture from the next financial year.
While, Goa Governor Mridula Sinha said although tourism was generating revenue in the state, it has also brought with it issues like narcotics and human trafficking. “The government is committed to fight these evils. I am hopeful that joint efforts by the people and the government will weed out these evils from the state,” she said at the Republic Day function in the state capital of Panaji. In his speech, Mizoram Governor Lt Gen (Retd) Nirbhay Sharma congratulated the people of the state, NGOs, religious institutions and media for being committed to protect peace and harmony.
Addressing the Republic Day function at the Assam Rifles ground here after unfurling the tricolour, Sharma said the collective efforts of law-enforcing agencies and the commitment of the civil societies and voluntary organisations made it possible for Mizoram to maintain its status as one of the more peaceful states of the country. While in his speech, Arunachal Pradesh Governor Brig (Retd) Dr B D Mishra exhorted the people to contribute to the remarkable growth plan being carried out by the state government to put the state in the highest-growth trajectory.
The day was celebrated across Odisha amid tight security as Governor S C Jamir unfurled the tricolour on the Mahatma Gandhi Road in the state capital. In his speech, Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy congratulated the people for maintaining ‘its long tradition’ of peace and harmony and said the state should uphold democratic values under all circumstances.
In Karnataka, Governor Vajubhai Vala urged the people to build a strong nation on patriotic sentiments and scientific temperament as he addressed the gathering after unfurling the tricolour at the historic Manekshaw Parade ground. Meanwhile, Kerala Governor P Sathasivam expressed concern over some youths falling prey to political and communal feuds and also joining terror outfits.