Karnataka celebrates Independence Day



Bangalore: Karnataka celebrated the 66th Independence Day with flag-hoisting, singing of national anthems and march past by security forces and children.

Patriotic fervour and cultural fiesta marked the day across the state, with thousands from all walks of life participating.

In Bangalore, Chief Minister Jagadish Shetter unfurled the tri-colour and received the guard of honour at the Field Marshal Manekshaw parade ground amid cheers by about 8,000 people.

Flower petals were showered on the ground from a low-flying helicopter of the Indian Air Force.

The gathering included hundreds of youths sporting colourful dress, waving the national flag and singing patriotic songs in unison.

Shettar went around the parade ground in an open jeep greeting the people and saluting the men and women in uniform on a partly cloudy day.

Shettar, who became chief minister July 12, witnessed an impressive march past by the Karnataka State Reserve Police, Rapid Action Force, Railway Police Force, Home Guards, fire brigade, National Cadet Corps, traffic wardens, Bharat Scouts & Guides, Seva Dal volunteers and about 1,000 boys and girls from schools across the city.

About 2,000 police personnel were deployed in and around the ground to provide security.

After Shettar's speech, the cheering crowds were treated to an hour-long cultural programme including a judo contest.

A theme on the first Indian freedom fighter Rani Abbakkadevi, enacted by about 650 boys and girls from a city school in a song and dance form, was watched in rapt attention and drew huge applause. Abbakkadevi was the first woman to fight against the invading Portuguese in the 16th century and die in 1567 at Ullala in Uttara Kannada district bordering Goa.

According to reports reaching here, the was celebrated with flag-hoisting, rendering of the national anthem, march past and cultural shows in district headquarters, cities and towns across the state.

IANS