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India Latest News R-Day Special

Low-key Beating Retreat at Attari border

Amritsar: India’s Republic Day ceremonies on the Indian side of the Attari-Wagah international border near Amritsar in Punjab were held in the absence of spectators due to the coronavirus pandemic, officials said.

The flag-hoisting, ceremonial drill and Beating Retreat on the country’s 72nd Republic Day was a low-key affair at the Joint Check Post, around 30 km from the holy city.

Also missing was the traditional bonhomie between border forces of both India and Pakistan — the Border Security Force (BSF) and the Pakistan Rangers — who in normal times would share sweets and exchange greetings.

In March 2020, the BSF had stopped the entry of visitors from across India who otherwise thronged the JCP to witness the famous Beating Retreat ceremony — a daily charged-up drill performed by the BSF and the Pakistan Rangers in the evening hours — in view of the spread of the pandemic.

Only the joint parade was held on Independence Day last year.

However, flag-hoisting and lowering of flags daily by both the forces is being held as usual.

At sunset, border guards on both sides lower their national flags. Normally the ceremony is a major tourist attraction on both sides of the borders.

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Farmers swarm Red Fort, hoist pennant

New Delhi: Protesting farmers swarmed the Red Fort in New Delhi during a ‘tractor rally’ here on the Republic Day even as police tried to prevent them from driving towards central Delhi.

The farmers barged into the 17th century monument, climbed up its ramparts and waved farmer union flags and banners and even hoisted a pennant.

Police and other security personnel deployed at the Red Fort could be seen lathi-charging the protesters even as the former were clearly outnumbered by the farmers.

A few youths climbed up the flagpole on the ramparts of the 17th century landmark and put up a saffron pennant with a religious symbol. Later, a few of them even climbed up further and fixed a farmer union flag near the spot where a bigger Tricolor was aflutter.

After sometime, security personnel succeeded in removing the farmers from the fort ramparts, after which they had skirmishes with the police and also chased them that led to injuries to several farmers and policemen.

Soon, the farmers left the spot and moved towards central Delhi.

All this occurred after thousands of farmers riding tractors and motorcycles thronged the busy ITO intersection and played cat-and-mouse games with the police to proceed towards India Gate.

In the meantime, a young farmer died near the ITO intersection in the central Delhi due to unknown reasons. Fellow farmers sat on protest on the spot along with the body of the deceased, who hailed from western Uttar Pradesh.

Chaos prevailed near the ITO intersection in central Delhi as hundreds of farmers rallied there to outnumber the security personnel at the spot.

Other video clips showed farmers chasing away policemen on foot as well with tractors, and trying to remove a DTC bus parked across the ITO road stretch by pushing it out of way with a tractor.

The police fired tear-gas shells and lathi-charged the protesters on different occasions as farmers remained adamant to move towards the Red Fort.

Later, Rapid Action Force and the Border Security Force was also deployed at the ITO intersection.

The farmers, after confrontation with police that lasted for around 40 minutes, moved towards Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg, which houses the offices of Aam Aadmi Party, Delhi Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party.

Later, farmers opened another front in the Nangloi area as they removed a trailer truck parked across the road to stop them.

Hundreds of farmers overturned the trailer to make way for the tractors to enter the national capital and even damaged temporary police tents set up at Nangloi.

On Tuesday morning, a section of farmers stationed at Singhu and Tikri borders started their tractor parade much ahead of the scheduled time to enter the national capital in violation of an agreement with authorities. Skirmishes with police were reported from multiple fronts as farmers gathered at Karnal Bypass, Mukarba Chowk, Transport Nagar, Akshardham, Ghazipur and Tikri borders. Some farmers armed with swords were seen brandishing the weapons.

Police fired tear-gas shells on farmers after they entered Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar from the Delhi-Haryana border at Singhu.

Visuals of protesters riding horses were witnessed at the Karnal Bypass while others broke through barricades at Singhu and Mukarba Chowk. Some farmers damaged trucks and DTC buses parked on roads to stop them to enter towards central Delhi.

On Sunday, Delhi Police had allowed the tractor rally after the official Republic Day parade.

During their talks with the police, the protesters were told that they could not disrupt the celebrations on the Rajpath even as farmers insisted their parade would be “peaceful”.

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Punjab CM kicks off Rs 213 crore projects for Patiala

Patiala: Augmenting his government’s efforts to ensure the holistic development of the state and to harness its optimum tourism potential, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh virtually kicked off a slew of development projects worth Rs 213.37 crore as a gift to the residents of Patiala heritage city on the 72nd Republic Day.

These projects include projects for rejuvenation of Badi Nadi and Chhoti Nadi, being implemented by the Patiala Urban Planning and Development Authority, at a cost of Rs 208.33 crore, besides revival of historic Rajindra Lake for Rs 5.04 crore.

According to a spokesperson for the Chief Minister’s Office, the rejuvenation project of Badi and Chotti Nadi, which commenced on October 22, 2020, would be completed within 24 months.

The total length of Badi Nadi stretch is 8.65 km, starting from Daulatpura Bridge near the focal point. Two sewage treatment plants will be constructed on Badi Nadi.

The total length of Chotti Nadi is 4.50 km, originating near Patiala railway station with outfall in Badi Nadi near Deer Park.

Later, the Chief Minister, accompanied by MP Preneet Kaur, dedicated to the people of Patiala the newly-rejuvenated historic lake, built in 1885 by Maharaja Bhupinder Singh in the memory of his father, Maharaja Rajinder Singh.

The Chief Minister took personal initiative in releasing funds to the tune of Rs 5.04 crore through the Housing and Urban Development Department.

Earlier, the Chief Minister, in his address, highlighted his government’s major achievements and initiatives to propel Punjab into the orbit of higher growth trajectory.

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CM Shivraj leads R-Day celebrations in MP

Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan unfurled the tricolor at the SAF ground in Rewa district on the occasion of the country’s 72nd Republic Day.

Several other Ministers and District Magistrates were among those who witnessed the celebrations.

Chouhan took a salute at the march past by various contingents of police, home guards, ex-servicemen and school students.

He also highlighted the tasks being carried out by the MP government in the last 11 months and presented the upcoming roadmap before the people of the state.

Rameshwar Sharma, Madhya Pradesh Assembly Pro term Speaker, also unfurled the national flag here on the occasion of the Republic Day.

The tricolour fluttered proudly amid melodious strains of the national anthem at 20 districts across the state.

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R-Day celebrated in Himachal amid chill

Shimla: The 72nd Republic Day was celebrated across Himachal Pradesh with gaiety despite a sunny but chilly morning.

Governor Bandaru Dattatreya unfurled the national flag at the historic Ridge in the state capital where Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, his cabinet colleagues and government functionaries were among those present during the occasion.

In the snow-marooned Keylong, headquarters of Lahaul and Spiti, and Rekong Peo in Kinnaur district, people took part in the flag unfurling ceremonies and also witnessed the march past by the security personnel as well as cultural programmes staged by several children.

Cabinet Ministers Ram Lal Markanda and Sukh Ram Chaudhary presided over the functions in Keylong and Rekong Peo, respectively.

In Shimla, the Governor took the salute at an impressive parade by contingents of the Police, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Home Guards, Army, NCC and ex-servicemen.

A cultural programme and tableaux highlighting development activities of various departments were part of the celebrations.

A skit based on the development and welfare schemes of the state performed by artistes of the Information and Public Relations and a skit by the cyber cell of the Police Department were the special attraction to the audience.

A drill performance by Naga Regiment was lauded by one and all.

Tableau of Himachal Pradesh Electricity Board was given the first prize.

The Governor also honoured Janak Raj, Medical Superintendent of Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital in Shimla for his best performance in Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana.

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Tibetan administration greets India on R-Day

Dharamsala: The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) has congratulated India and its people on the 72nd anniversary of Republic Day.

A ceremony was attended by ministers, secretaries, and senior leadership of the CTA in its headquarters here.

Religion and Culture Minister Karma Gelek Yuthok said: “On behalf of the Tibetan people inside and outside Tibet, I would like to congratulate and extend our warmest greetings to the government and people of India on the 72nd Republic Day of India.”

“It is a great achievement for a large populous country like India to go on the path of the republic and to be relatively very successful so far and India sets a great example for the rest of the world.”

He expressed his appreciation and gratitude to India for its generosity and consideration rendered toward the cause of Tibet for more than 61 years.

He wished success and development for India and its system of governance.

Commenting on the governance system of China, he said China has neither democracy nor republic although they claim to be the Republic of China.

“I don’t think China is a republic country in any way because a minimum condition for being a republic is the power should lie with the people and people’s representatives should be running the country. Since there is really no elected representative in China so I doubt whether China is truly a republic,” he said in a statement.

He further added that soon China will come to believe and follow the democratic system of governance and the good principles of democracy to prevail in Tibet and Tibetans get to enjoy the democratic rights in addition to their traditional rights.

The Tibetan exile administration is based in Dharamsala.

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Telangana marks Republic Day amid Covid safety

Hyderabad: Patriotic fervour marked 72nd Republic Day celebrations in Telangana on Tuesday. Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan led the state in the celebrations held in the shadow of Covid-19 pandemic.

She unfurled the national flag at the main official celebration held in the historic Public Gardens, adjacent to the State Assembly in the heart of the city.

Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, his cabinet colleagues, senior defence, police and civil officials attended the main event.

For a second consecutive year, the main official celebration was not held at Parade Grounds in Secunderabad, which has been the venue for decades.

It’s not just the venue but also the format of the main ceremony which was changed.

Like last year, there was no march past, no parade review by the chief guest, no tableaux or cultural programmes by school children. This year, the event was held with Covid-19 protocol.

The parade, comprising a couple of contingents from Indian Air Force and police, presented salute to the governor on her arrival, followed by flag hoisting and contingents marching off.

After formation of Telangana in 2014, Rao had shifted the venue of Independence Day parade from Parade Grounds to historic Golconda Fort to highlight the rich cultural heritage of Telangana.

The chief minister paid tributes to martyrs’ at Martyrs’ Memorial at Parade Grounds, Secunderabad and also hoisted the national tricolour at his official residence Pragati Bhavan.

Republic Day celebrations were also held at the State Assembly where Speaker P. Srinivas Reddy hoisted the national flag. Speaking on the occasion, he said the state was marching ahead on the path of progress.

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Maharashtra celebrates R-Day with patriotic fervor

Mumbai: Celebrations to mark India’s 72nd Republic Day witnessed patriotic fervour amid Covid protocols and a pleasant chill in the morning air across Maharashtra on Tuesday, officials said.

Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari led the state by unfurling the Tricolour and took the salute at the historic Shivaji Park in the presence of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, his wife Rashmi Thackeray and other top dignitaries.

The gathering stood in attention as the National Anthem was played. Other festivities included traditional march-pasts by police, armed forces, social and cultural groups, apart from tableaux.

Earlier, Koshyari also unfurled the national flag at the Raj Bhavan here, while Thackeray unfurled it at his official residence Varsha in the presence of their respective staff and other officials.

Marking the occasion, Thackeray inaugurated five new divisional cyber police stations and receptions at all 94 Mumbai police stations in the presence of Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, Tourism Minister Aditya Thackeray, Minister of State Satej Patil, Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh and other dignitaries.

Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar unfurled the Tricolor in Pune, while state NCP President Jayant Patil did the honours in Sangli.

Maharashtra Congress President and Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat unfurled the Tricolor at the Congress headquarters in Mumbai whereas city party President Bhai Jagtap did the honours at the party’s Mumbai office in the presence of a large number of activists.

Bharatiya Janata Party’s Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis unfurled the national flag at his official residence in Mumbai, while state BJP President Chandrakant Patil did the honours at the Chetana Apangmati Vikas Sanstha in Kolhapur.

R-Day functions were organised in all districts of the state, including Maoist-hit Gadchiroli, with the local populace joining in large numbers to celebrate the day.

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Tableaux showcase social, economic progress

New Delhi: The tableaux that rolled down on the Rajpath in New Delhi reflected India’s cultural diversity and social and economic progress.

Seventeen tableaux from Gujarat, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Tripura, West Bengal, Sikkim, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, National Capital Territory of Delhi and Ladakh were showcased at the parade, depicting the geographical and rich cultural diversity of the country.

These tableaux included the vision for Ladakh to be carbon-neutral, the Sun Temple at Modhera in Mehsana district of Gujarat, Tea tribes of Assam, Shore Temple and other monuments of Pallava dynasty in Tamil Nadu.

The Department of Biotechnology’s tableau on the theme Atmanirbhar Bharat, showcased the country’s homegrown Covid-19 vaccines with the slogan “Mission Covid Suraksha”.

The much-appreciated tableaux pertained to Bhakti Movement and Saints of Maharashtra, Dev Bhoomi – The Land of the Gods, Kedarnath, Splendorous Sounds of Chhattisgarh’s Folk Music, 400th Birth Anniversary of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur, promotion of eco-friendly tradition for achieving self-reliance (Atmanirbhar) in Tripura and Sabooj Sathi – Wheels of Change in West Bengal.

The tableaux of Ayodhya: Cultural Heritage of Uttar Pradesh, Redevelopment of Shahjahanabad in Old Delhi, Vijayanagara- The City of Victory, Coir of Kerala, Lepakshi – Architectural Monolithic Marvels of Andhra Pradesh, Pang Lhabsol Festival of Sikkim, and East meets West theme of Arunachal Pradesh mesmerised those sitting on the lawns of the Rajpath.

The tableaux of Ministries and Departments on growing challenges for India and its success story showcased digital and self-reliant India, four labour codes that depict the guiding philosophy of Mehnat Ek Samaan, Adhikar Ek Samaan, One Nation, One Sign Language, and Ojo Bharat, Tejo Bharat: Immune India, Active India.

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting showcased New India and Vocal for Local themes while the Border Roads Organisation displayed Connecting Places, Connecting People, Amar Jawan and Heralding 75th Year of Indian Independence.

The tableau of Ladakh passes through the Rajpath. Manojkumar
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