Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 26:
Under the watchful eyes of security personnel, sanitisation of venues and mounting of surveillance systems, Odisha Governor S C Jamir and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik unfurled the national flag as the 66th Republic Day was celebrated across the state today. The governor hoisted the flag at Bhubaneswar and the chief minister at Cuttack.
In Bhubaneswar, Governor S C Jamir unfurled the national flag at around 8.30 AM at Mahatma Gandhi Marg during the state-level parade for which as many as 30 platoons of police force were deployed. Besides, quick action teams, counter-terrorist squads, bomb disposal squads and Special Operations Group (SOG) jawans kept a strict vigil on the visitors at the parade venue.
Moving the legs and hands in perfect synchronisation with the beating drums and massed pipes, personnel of state police, Bharat Scouts and Guide members and students from city-based schools participated in the parade. Besides, school children donning colorful costumes reverberated the atmosphere with spectacular cultural performances. The daredevil act by state police and the tableaux were a treat for the eyes of the spectators.
To ensure smooth passage of the celebrations, the venue was sensitised and various check points were put up for frisking of vehicles in the temple city. Meanwhile, no untoward incident has been reported from across the state amid the terror threat and the Maoist boycott.
In the filigree city, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik took the salute and hoisted the national flag at Barabati stadium.
On the occasion Patnaik drew the attention on various social welfare programmes introduced by his government.
‘‘Democracy and secularism are the main objectives of our Constitution. Federalism is the soul of our Constitution. In view of this, we should stress on the development of the federal structure as a result of which the states and the nation would become more powerful. Odisha has progressed in food security and infrastructure. The Biju Expressway programme is soon going to become a milestone in the communication and transport system in the state. Besides, shelter security mission has been a historic step undertaken by his government in the housing sector. Under the Biju Pucca Ghar Yojna, the government is planning to provide houses to everyone,’’ Patnaik said.
Gender bias and discrimination is a greater social evil than terrorism. Our government has introduced several stringent laws to curb this. In addition to this, we have launched several programmes for the welfare and security of women and girl child to bring them to the mainstream, he added.
The Republic Day was celebrated in other parts of the state also.
In Malkangiri, a thick security blanket was thrown up in view of the Maoists’ call to observe it as a ‘black day’. Amid security and strict vigil, MSME Minister Yogendra Behera took the salute and hoisted the tri-color.
Industries, School and Mass Education Minister Debi Prasad Mishra unfurled the national flag at Odisha Bhawan in New Delhi early this morning. MLA Debasis Nayak and Special Resident Commissioner Vipin Saxena were present on the occasion.
While Finance Minister Pradip Amat took the salute at pilgrim town of Puri, Commerce and Transport Minister Ramesh Majhi hoisted the tri-color at Rayagada.
In Phulbani, Women and Child Development Minister Usha Padhi graced the occasion as chief guest and unfurled the tri-color. Health Minister Atany Sabyasachi Nayak and Steel and Mines Minister Prafulla Mallick took the salute and hoisted the national flag at Angul and Koraput respectively. In addition to this, Rural Development Minister Badri Narayan Patro unfurled the national flag at Baleswar.
Bhadrak Collector Laxminarayan Mishra and Nayagarh Collector Hemant Kumar Padhi unfurled the tri-color and took the salute early today. Baleswar Collector Rajesh Prabhakar Patil, Sambalpur Collector Balwant Singh and Brahmapur RDC (southern division) Sailendra Narayan Dey also hoisted the tri-color as chief guests in their respective district headquarters.
The Odisha High Court lawyers also celebrated the Republic Day in which Chief Justice Amitava Roy unfurled the national flag.