The majestic Rajpath saw a fascinating display of India’s military might and resplendent cultural diversity as the country celebrated its 68th Republic Day on Thursday, with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan attending the event as guest of honour. From rain in Delhi to freezing temperatures in Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir to the tight security in Assam and Manipur, here’s a look at Republic Day celebrations across India.
WATCH VIDEO | Jamaat-ud-Dawah Chief Hafiz Saeed Placed Under House Arrest
Republic Day in Punjab, Haryana
Punjab, Haryana and UT Chandigarh on Thursday celebrated the 68th Republic Day amid tight security arrangements and rains. It was raining since early this morning at most places in Punjab and Haryana, including the UT, leaving several function venues in Patiala, Jalandhar, Mohali, Kurukshetra and Panchkula drenched.
Contingents of police, homeguards NCC and others took part in the parade held at district headquarters in the two states and Chandigarh.
School students presented colourful programmes and tableaux depicting overall development of the states were taken out. The wet weather somewhat dampened the festivities. Parade and celebrations at most places in the region were held amid tight security arrangements.
V P Singh Badnore, Punjab Governor, who is also an Administrator of Chandigarh, unfurled the national flag at a state function at Patiala, while state Chief Minister Parkash Singh at Mohali, and his Deputy, Sukhbir Singh Badal at Jalandhar.
Republic Day celebration on Wagah Border
Security personnel from India and Pakistan exchanged sweets at Wagah Border on the occasion of India’s 68th Republic Day on Thursday.
The exchange of sweets also took place between border guards at Indo-Bangladesh border. The aim behind this symbolic gesture is to assure peace on the border between India and its neighbours.
On the occasion of the Republic Day, Border Security Force offered traditional Indian sweets to its Pakistani counterpart in Amritsar.
A BSF official said the troops posted at Indo-Pak border gifted sweets and fruits to Pakistan Rangers personnel, the neighbouring country’s border-guarding force.
The Pakistani Rangers’ troop commander along with his colleagues accepted the sweets and shook hands with each other and exchanged pleasantries at Joint Check post of Attari-Wagah border.
Republic Day parade in Manipur, Assam and Tripura
The 68th Republic Day was celebrated in all nine districts of Manipur on Thursday despite a boycott call by militant outfits.
However, there were reports of two bomb blasts taking place in Mantripukhri and Pishumthong respectively.
The call for boycott and dawn-to-dusk shutdown was given by the banned underground militant organisations, the United Naga Council and others.
Dr. Najma Heptulla, Governor of Manipur, was the chief guest at the main function held at Kangla, where over 97 contingents, including 44 from schools and colleges, NCC, 19 cultural troupes, 12 bands, the Manipur Fire Service and 12 tableaux participated in the parade and display.
Police had beefed up security measures throughout the state. However, there was no report of major arrest or recovery of arms and explosives.
Tripura celebrated the 68th Republic Day as thousands of people took part in the Republic Day celebration throughout the state.
The main programme of the state was organized at the Assam Rifles parade ground in Agartala, where Governor Tathagata Roy, unfurled the tricolour. He also inspected the parade and took the guard of honour.
Roy in his written speech praised the achievement of the state government in various sectors like literacy, connectivity, sports, human resource, all round development and also gave credit to the union government in helping the state to move ahead.
Tamil Nadu celebrates Republic day putting behind Jallikatu
Chief Minister O Panneerselvam led the 68th Republic Day celebrations in Tamil Nadu by hoisting the national flag, in a departure from the tradition as the state does not have a full-time Governor.
Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, holding additional charge of Tamil Nadu, is attending the celebrations in Mumbai. Rao was sworn-in as Acting Governor of Tamil Nadu on September 2 last year after the tenure of K Rosaiah ended.
Panneerselvam unfurled the flag near the Mahatma Gandhi statue on the Kamarajar Salai, along the Marina Beach, here and took the salute.
The celebrations were attended by a host of people, including state Ministers, MPs, MLAs and government officials.
Panneerselvam along with Lieutenant General RK Anand, General Officer Commanding, Dakshin Bharat area, paid homage to the soldiers of all three services who made sacrifice to the Nation by placing a wreath at the Victory War Memorial.
A two minute silence was observed on the occasion.
Security was tight in the beach area which only last week witnessed pro-jallikattu protests.
Republic Day Celebration in Himachal Pradesh
The 68th Republic Day was celebrated with usual enthusiasm and fervor in Himachal Pradesh and hundreds of people assembled at the historic Ridge Ground at the state level function here braving intense cold and heavy rains.
Governor Acharya Devvrat unfurled the tricolor and took salute at an impressive march past by contingents of Army, ITBP, Police Home Guards, Fire brigade, Scouts and Guides and Mounted police.
Tableau, depicting developmental activities of various department were also at display and a colourful cultural programme was also presented on the occasion.
The venue of cultural programmed was shifted to Gaiety Theatre due to heavy rains.
Republic day functions, presided over by ministers were held at all district headquarters and people braved rains and snow at Kullu to attend the function.
Kashmir celebrates Republic day despite heavy snow
For the third year in a row, official Republic Day functions in various parts of Kashmir were presided over by government officials as ministers could not make it to the Valley from winter capital Jammu in view of snowfall.
The main Republic Day function was held at Bakshi Stadium here with Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Khan taking salute at the march past by contingents of police, security forces and school children.
Usually, senior minister presides over the function at Bakshi stadium while other ministers would unfurl the national tricolour at district headquarters.
Despite snowfall early in the morning, stringent security arrangements were put in place across Kashmir to ensure that the Republic Day functions passed off peacefully, officials said.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis unfurled the national flag at his official residence this morning to mark the 68th Republic Day and later visited Shivaji Park in Dadar to celebrate the occasion in presence of senior bureaucrats.
Fadnavis posted a video message through his tweet in which he outlined the importance of Constitution, which came into force this day in 1950.
“Our Constitution is the greatest and best instrument to convert Swarajya into Surajya. #RepublicDay,” he tweeted
Republic Day for the National Capital
Heavy overcast conditions plunged the national capital into near darkness towards the fag end of the Republic Day celebrations today even as heavy rains lashed the city slowing vehicular movement in several areas.
As daylight faded, afternoon resembled the evening hours prompting vehicles to ply with headlights on. Vehicular movement was affected as the downpour led to water-logging in several parts of the city.
(With ANI and PTI Inputs)