Governor La Gane san unfurled the tricolour, as Manipur celebrated the 73rd Republic day in the backdrop of a boycott by militants and surging Covid 19 cases on Wednesday. The main state function was held at the sacred Kangla, the seat of power and throne of Manipur Kings since 33 AD.

After unfurling the national flag, the Governor honoured officers and personnel of Manipur Police who were awarded Police Medal for Gallantry, President’s Medal for Distinguished Service, Police Medal for Meritorious Service, Union Home Minister’s Medal for Excellence in Police Training, Ati Utkrisht Seva Padak, Utkrisht Seva Padak and Police Antrik Suraksha Seva Padak for North East region. Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, only 17 contingents led by Parade Commander Khoisnam Sarma , Commandant, took part in the celebration.

The parade began and culminated at First Manipur Rifles ground, and passed through Kangla. Chief Minister N Biren Singh said people enjoy the benefits of being a citizen and the rights and privileges of all are enshrined in the Indian Constitution. The Republic Day is a gift of the great freedom struggle led by Mahatma Gandhi and Netaji Subhas Chan dra Bose. The sacrifices of the great leaders have enabled the nation to celebrate Republic Day, Biren said. Because of the Covid19 pandemic and as a precautionary measure, participation of students, cultural organisations were cancelled.

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All functions scheduled at the Raj Bhavan here and cultural programmes were scrapped because of the pandemic. La Ganesan said in a message: “It was on this day in 1950, that we gave ourselves a Constitution which is the guiding principle of our country. Despite reservations from various quarters, the experiment of democracy in India has been successful and we are going from strength to strength, respected by other nations. On this occasion, we should revere and offer our homage to those founding fathers for their foresight and understanding. Despite its large population, many of whom were illiterate, successive elections have shown the maturity of the electors and the aspirations of the people are reflected in the ballot. From a fledgling democracy, India has now become a mature one, he added.

“India is poised to become one of the leading nations of the world. Its progress in science and technology backed by a young and dynamic population will usher the country to greater heights. We have, however, to harness the potential of our youth in the right direction so that they become our main assets for the future. Let us all strive to work together to make our country strong, peaceful and prosperous, free from wants”, he said. The CM in his message said the day reminds all Indians of the freedom struggle and how the great freedom fighters of the country sacrificed their lives to give India the Purna Swaraj.” “It is because of their struggle that today we are living in a democratic country where every citizen enjoys the Fundamental Rights enshrined in our Constitution. Today, we also remember all the great men and women who contributed to the framing of our Constitution”.
He also called for reaffirming an unwavering commitment to uphold the ideals of the Constitution, advocate unity in diversity, fraternity and equality among all citizens and strengthen the republic. “Let us also commit ourselves to appreciate and observe our Fundamental Duties,” he added. The day was also observed at the offices of the BJP and the Congress, and all district headquarters and block offices. Extraordinary security measures were put in place as the Coordination Committee (CorCom), an umbrella of Manipur-based militant groups, boycotted the observation of Republic Day and declared an 18-hour shutdown from Jan 25 midnight to 6 pm of Jan 26. Security personnel were deployed at all strategic places and the Manipur Police formed a human ring around the Greater Imphal area to thwart any attempt to disrupt the celebrations.

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