Imphal: Manipur joined the Nation in celebrating the 72nd Republic Day celebration Tuesday. The State level celebration was held at historic Kangla with Governor Dr Najma Heptulla unfurling the National flag and taking salute from different march-past contingents.
The celebration began with the Governor inspecting the Guard of Honour accorded by a contingent of 8th IRB and commanded by Deputy Commandant of 7th Manipur Rifles, Reena Haobam.
Later, Dr Heptulla unfurled the National Tricolour amidst playing of the National Anthem. The Governor then took salute from 27 march-past contingents including six band contingents.
During the celebration, 20 different Government Departments also showcased their works and achievements by displaying tableaus. One cultural troupe also took part in the celebration. On the other hand, different Government Departments also erected giant gates at different parts of Imphal city as part of the Republic Day, 2021 celebrations.
Earlier, the Governor decorated two officers of Manipur Police with President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service, seven officers and personnel with Police Medal for Meritorious Service and two Fire Service personnel with President’s Fire Service Medal for Meritorious Service.
Recipients of President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service were IGP (AP/Ops & Provisioning) E Priyokumar Singh and Subedar M Ibobi Singh of 6th IRB.
Winners of Police Medal for Meritorious Service were Subedar M Dimartan Singh of 4th IRB, SI Tuanjahau Simte of CID (SB), Havildar Rongshong Leiyah of 6th IRB, Rifleman Md Shahid Ahamad of 1st IRB, Havildar AS Mayungkui Zimik of MPTC, Pangei and Havildar L. Lenin Meetei of MPTC, Pangei.
Recipients of President’s Fire Service Medal for Meritorious Service were Leading Fireman Kh Balanda Singh and Fireman Thangkhomang Thadou.
Giving vote of thanks to the march-past contingents and other officials present at 1st Battalion Manipur Rifles Parade Ground, Chief Minister N Biren Singh said that celebration of Republic Day was a proud moment and important for every citizen, as the Constitution of India came into effect on this day. With the contributions and path paved by our great leaders, India had now emerged as a powerful nation and become self reliant in many sectors, he added.
Calling the Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a true leader with far vision, the Chief Minister appreciated the initiatives taken up by the Prime Minister in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic and saving the large population of the country from numerous fatalities. Under his supervision, many Indians stranded outside the country were brought back home, PDS items including rice and dal were distributed to every household during the countrywide lockdown while early initiatives were also taken up to produce vaccines for the COVID-19, he stated. Informing that more than 16 lakhs population of the country had been vaccinated till date, N Biren Singh also acknowledged the contribution of health workers, frontline warriors among others and thanked every citizen for complying with the COVID Appropriate Behaviours.
On the change of route for march-past parade this year, N Biren Singh informed that he along with his Cabinet colleagues and MLAs in consultation with scholars had decided to shift the route, entering Kangla from the northern gate and exit through the southern gate, considering the aged old culture and traditions of the State. He further said that Manipur with its rich culture and traditions had been able to exist as a self-reliant kingdom in Southeast Asia during the pre-colonial era and so it is imperative to preserve our aged old culture and traditions for further development of the State.
The Chief Minister also maintained that the State Government had been putting tireless efforts to provide best services to the public with considerable improvement in law and order situation. Many developmental projects had also been taken up, including construction of women markets in both hill and valley districts, amusement parks to be constructed at seven hill districts with a sanction amount of 33 crore rupees, as one of the steps to bridge the gap between hill and valley districts, he added.
Chief Minister Biren expressed sadness over depletion of many forest areas due to large scale deforestation for poppy plantations in hill areas of Manipur which is detrimental to the environment. He sought cooperation of civil society organizations (CSOs), student organizations and different communities in preserving forest areas and rooting out poppy plantations from the state. He also appealed to CSOs, leaders of hill districts to render support in planting alternatives like fruit bearing plants from the coming season instead of planting poppy.
Cabinet Ministers, MPs, MLAs, top civil, police and military officers, Government employees and general public also took part in the celebration.