India Celebrates Its 66th Independence Day
The 66th Independence Day saw its opening in the capital with thousands of armed security personnel who kept a hawk-eyed vigil to pre-empt any possible terror strike.
An elaborate ground-to-air security apparatus was put in place in the city, especially near Red Fort where Prime Minister Manmohan Singh unfurled the tri-colour and addressed the nation for the ninth consecutive time.
Security agencies left no stone unturned to ensure an incident-free Independence Day celebrations even though there was no specific intelligence input about a possible terror strike.
School children, who were present in large numbers, cheered loudly when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh unfurled the tricolour from a closed enclosure and balloons were released after the end of his speech.
Demonstrating their excitement and patriotic fervour, children sang the national anthem with gusto both at the beginning and end of the event.
Sheila Dikshit Targets to Make Delhi Clean
Commending the people for their initiatives to make the Capital one of the greenest cities in the world, she said, "Delhi's next aim should be to be the cleanest. It was because of the peoples' initiatives that Delhi became the green capital and now it was up to the Delhiites to make it a clean city."
Delivering her Independence Day speech here after hoisting the Tricolour, Dikshit outlined her priorities for the city which included infrastructure development, improving educational standards and helping the budding sports persons.
Black Flags Hoisted by Maoists in Orissa
Though the day was celebrated amid patriotic fervour in most parts with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik unfurling the Tricolour in the state capital, some remote areas in Maoist-affected districts like Malkangiri, Koraput and Gajapati saw hoisting of black flags by the ultras.
Despite tight security, Maoists hoisted black flags and put up posters and banners near several schools and panchayat offices in Kalimela, Khairput, Chitrakonda and Guma areas of naxal-hit Malkangiri district as also in Koraput where the ultras had asked people to refrain from celebrating the republic day.
WB: Mamata Unfurls Tricolour at Indira Gandhi Sarani
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee hoisted the tricolour at the Indira Gandhi Sarani in a departure from the traditional venue near Writers Buildings since 1948.
Banerjee took the salute at a colourful combined marchpast of the Kolkata and state police, besides the Rapid Action Force, Eastern Frontier Rifles, CISF, Mounted Police, Fire Brigade and personnel of security agencies.
Elaborate security arrangements were made at the Indira Gandhi Sarani with intelligence personnel of the Kolkata police keeping vigil with sniffer dogs.
Jaya Wants Govt to Ensure Rehabilitation of SL Tamils
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister said in her Independence Day address that, "At a time when we are celebrating the Independence day, Centre should at least now ensure that the Sri Lankan Tamils lodged in camps are sent back to their places of origin and ensured equal status on par with Sinhalas."
She announced a hike in monthly pension of freedom fighters from Rs 5000 to Rs 7000 and later gave away various awards to both governmeent personnel and civilians under different categories.
However, anti-nuclear protestors opposed to Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant today observed the 66th Independence Day as "Black Day," and hoisted black flags at public places, opposing the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board approval to load fuel into the first reactor.
UAV Used for First Time in J&K
Unmanned aerial Vehicles (UAVs) were used for surveillance for the first time in Jammu and Kashmir.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah unfurled the tricolour at Bakshi stadium. He was given a guard of honour after which the contingents of various security forces, police and school children took part in the march past.
Among other security measures, the authorities shut down cell phone services and mobile internet services while the functions were in progress.
This measure has become a part of the security drill for Independence Day and Republic Day celebration after militants used a cell phone to trigger an IED close to Bakshi stadium in 2005.
Independence Day functions were also held at all district headquarters in the Valley where cabinet colleagues of Omar took salute at the parades.
The celebrations passed off peacefully and there were no reports of any untoward incident from anywhere in the Valley, a police spokesman said.
Nitish Confident to Make Bihar Corruption-Free
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today said he was confident to make the state corruption free as it was making the society 'hollow'.
After unfurling the Tricolour at the Gandhi Maidan here, Kumar said "Corruption is making the society hollow and it is extremely necessary to be brought under a check.... I have full confidence that we will be able to stamp out corruption (from the state)."
HP Announces Sops for Employees
Himachal Pradesh government today announced sops for employees and hikes in funds allotted to social welfare schemes.
Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal announced seven per cent DA to employees and pensioners from January 1, 2013, at an Independence Day function in Kullu today, two months ahead of Assembly polls.
The chief minister announced hike in daily wages from Rs 130 to Rs 150 and social security pension from Rs 400 to Rs 450 per month, besides increase in daily allowance of Home Guard volunteers from Rs 200 to Rs 225.
A cash award of Rs 31,000 to students from the state admitted to IIT/IIM and annual scholarship of Rs 15,000 to 2,000 top ranking girls in plus two examination will be given, he said.
Efforts On to Give Pace to Development Activities: Akhilesh
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav today said his government is making all effort to bring back the state on path of development.
Unfurling the tricolour at Vidhan Bhavan, Akhilesh assured that the government will do everything to stand up to the expectations of people and said big decisions are being taken at all levels to give pace to economic activities.
Noting that the state is "lagging behind" in development for the past few years, the chief minister said the GDP of the state, which currently stands at 6.2 per cent, is aimed to be taken to 10 per cent during the 12th Five Year Plan.
Crime Incidents Worry K'taka CM on I-Day
Delivering his Independence Day speech, Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar said, "The recent incidents of crimes around Bangalore city and Mangalore are a cause for worry. Police handled these incidents without giving room for further worsening of the situation."
The culprits have been rounded up and investigations were on, Shettar said, adding, strict instructions were given to police to prevent any untoward incidents in future.
MP Transformed From 'Dacoit Infested State' to 'Island of Peace'
Independence Day was celebrated with gaiety and enthusiasm all over Madhya Pradesh today.
The main function was held at the Motilal Nehru stadium near Lal Parade ground where state Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan unfurled the national flag and took the salute at a march past by various forces.
On the occasion, Chouhan said Madhya Pradesh, which was earlier known as a "dacoit infested state", is now an "island of peace".
Chavan Concerned Over Water Crisis
Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, while addressing the people from the state secretariat after hoisting the tri-colour, said, "Not only in rural areas, but also in cities water-crisis will be felt in coming days."
Voicing concern over the drought-like situation in most parts of the state, he said the government has been implementing several temporary and permanent schemes.
Earlier, beginning his speech by paying condolence to senior Congress leader and Union Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh who passed away yesterday, Chavan appreciated the deceased leader for taking the state to the forefront through various developmental decisions.
Rajasthan CM Talks of Drought Relief
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot today said his government will take all possible steps to provide relief from drought, if it occurs anywhere in the state.
Unfurling the national flag amid unprecedented security cover at Sawai Man Singh Stadium here on the occasion of Independence Day, the Chief Minister also expressed concern on the issues of terrorism and corruption.
The Chief Minister also gave away the President's Police Medal to two retired IPS officers -- Hari Ram Meena and Vijendra Jhala.
Homeguards and Civil Defence Service Medals for outstanding contribution were given to six persons and 11 persons were awarded certificates of merit.
Record Rs. 21, 500 Crore Spent on MNREGS: Kiran Kumar Reddy
Asserting that Andhra Pradesh has emerged as a role model in implementation of UPA's flagship MGNREGS, Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy today said a record has been set in the entire country by spending Rs 21,500 crore on the scheme so far.
"This year, we have provided 31 crore work days by an allocation of Rs 2,900 crore," he said in his Independence Day address after inspecting the ceremonial march past at the Parade Grounds here.
U'khand CM Bahuguna Gives Away Bravery Awards
Independence Day was today celebrated in Uttarakhand with Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna unfurling the National Flag at the Parade Ground here sans the traditional gaiety in order to show solidarity with people killed or rendered homeless by floods in Uttarkashi.
Bahuguna also gave away bravery awards on the occasion to two children and decorated five police personnel with medals for their outstanding contribution in service.
The Chief Minister also honoured the freedom fighters, who attended the Independence Day function.
Uttarakhand Governor Aziz Qureshi hoisted the National Flag at Rajbhavan and paid rich tributes to Mahatma Gandhi and all freedom fighters. The PAC jawans gave a guard of honour to the tricolour and the Governor.
Slew of Welfare Schemes in Kerala
Joining the nation in celebrating the 66th Independence Day, the Congress-led UDF Government in Kerala today announced a slew of schemes based on its 10-point development and welfare initiative.
Delivering the Independence Day address at the Central Stadium here, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said corruption free administration, job for all, energy security and a comprehensive healthcare would be some of the key areas of attention for the Government in the coming days.
Chandy unfurled the national flag, took salute at the impressive I-Day parade of various contingents of armed forces, police and student cadets at the state level celebrations.
Munda Quotes Amartya Sen, Promises Food Security
Jharkhand government has taken initiatives to provide food security and a dignified life to all citizens, Chief Minister Arjun Munda said after unfurling the National flag to mark the Independence Day here.
"Economist Amartya Sen has said if a person has money to purchase, that person could not be hungry. Keeping this in mind, we are taking food security measures," Munda said.
Chhattisgarh's CM Appeals to End Naxal Menace
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh today appealed to all sections of society to come forward to put an end to the Naxal menace in the state.
"Naxals are anti-national, anti-constitutional, anti-human and are putting hurdles in development of the state...There mask has come off," he said in his Independence Day speech.
Singh said the state government has initiated measures like filling up vacancies in department of police and other government departments, carrying out developmental works in backward region etc to tackle the Red insurgency.
"I salute the people died in naxal violence and also salute the determination of those staying put in the naxal-affected parts of the state," the chief minister said.
Badal for More Autonomy to States
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today called upon the Centre to give more autonomy to the states for strengthening federal structure of the country.
"Tendency of the Centre to usurp the powers and authority given to states by the Constitution is detrimental to the interests of the states," Badal said, addressing a gathering after unfurling the flag at YPS Stadium here on the occasion of Independence Day.
Recalling sacrifices made by the freedom fighters from Punjab, Badal said the Punjabi community, though only two per cent of country's population, contributed immensely in India's freedom struggle.
Puducherry CM Hands Over Memento to 65 Yr Old Agriculturist
Puducherry Chief Minister N rangasamy today unfurled the national tri-colour to mark the 66th Independence Day in the union territory.
He distributed President`s Police Medals as well as the Chief Minister`s Police medals.
The highlight of the celebration was handing over of a memento by the Chief Minister to the 65 year old progressive agriculturist T.Venkatapathy Reddiar of Koodapakkam village in Puducherry who was honoured by the Central government in April this year with `Padma Shree award` for his innovative practices in cultivating crossandra and casuarinas.
Hooda Announces Hike in Freedom Fighters' Pension
Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda today announced an increase in the monthly pension of freedom fighters and their widows from Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000.
Paying rich tributes to martyrs and freedom fighters, Hooda said they sacrificed all their comforts so that the coming generations could live with dignity.
"We will always remain indebted to their supreme sacrifice," the chief minister said while addressing a state- level function of Independence Day celebrations after unfurling the national flag here.
Hooda said Haryana had overwhelmingly participated in the freedom movement and he is proud of hailing from a family of freedom fighters. He said his late father Ranbir Singh had dedicated himself to the freedom of the country and remained in eight different jails.
"Patriotism and dedication is in my blood and I feel blessed that my elders infused in me such values," he said.
Goa Govt Sets 1-Year Deadline to Weed Out Corruption
Claiming that corruption continues unabated in Goa, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar today set a one-year deadline from August 16 onwards to clamp down on corruption at lower level.
"The state government aims to weed out corruption from the state by next Independence Day," Parrikar said, addressing the crowd after unfurling tri-colour near the Old Secretariat.
Law of Land Will Prevail: Arunachal CM
The government of Arunachal Pradesh today expressed its commitment to not tolerate criminal activities or spare any criminal irrespective of his or her background, position or connections.
"At all cost, law of the land will prevail. I hereby send a warning bell to all those anti-social elements not to disturb the sanctity of peace and harmony or disturb the balance of law and order.
You will be outnumbered by law abiding citizens and there would be no place on this earth for you," Chief Minister Nabam Tuki announced in his address on the occasion of the 66th Independence Day.
After unfurling the tri-colour at Indira Gandhi Park here, the Chief Minister announced a slew of developmental activities including sports policy with provision of cash award for Olympic qualifier and medalists.
Sikkim CM Announces Incentives for Students, Sportspersons
Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling today announced that students topping standard X and XII examinations in any stream would be awarded Rs 1.75 lakh and Rs 50,000 respectively henceforth.
The highest scoring student would also be entitled to the chief minister’s merit scholarship scheme under which he would have opportunity to study in the top ten best universities and colleges in the world, Chamling said at the Paljor stadium on in his Independence day speech.
For sports enthusiasts, Chamling announced cash incentives of Rs 2 crore, Rs 1 crore and Rs 50 lakh for winning gold, silver or bronze medals in any Olympics.
Peaceful Celebration of I-Day in Nagaland
Independence Day was celebrated peacefully in Nagaland today with Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio asking underground groups to uphold their commitment for peace and re-conciliation among themselves.
Unfurling the Tricolour at the civil secretariat ground, Rio also appealed to them to "listen to the voice of the people, who are crying for an honourable settlement of the six-decade-old Naga political issue."
Unlike several other states in the North East, no organization has called for strike today in Nagaland.
Tight Security in Tripura
Independence Day was celebrated today in Tripura amidst tight security in view of a boycott call given by insurgent outfits to observe it as 'black day'.
After hoisting the national flag at the Assam Rifles ground here, Chief Minister Manik Sarkar appealed to the insurgents to lay down arms and join the mainstream by participating in development works.
Official sources said security measures were tightened across the state in view of the Independence Day boycott call given by the outlawed insurgent outfits like All Tripura Tiger force and National Liberation Front of Tripura.
Army Parades Mark I-Day Celebrations in Mizoram
Independence Day was today celebrated all over Mizoram with fervour and without any untoward incident in any part of the state.
Governor Vakkom Purushothaman hoisted the national flag at the Raj Bhavan.
While parades by armed police and students marked the celebrations in the Assam Rifles ground in Aizawl, similar ones were undertaken in the seven district headquarters and towns.
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