Maharastra celebrates Republic Day

Mumbai, Jan 26 (IANS) Maharashtra celebrated India's Republic Day with patriotic fervour Saturday, with politicians and citizens unfurling scores of national flags across the state.

Schools, colleges, institutions and housing societies hoisted the tricolour in the morning. In many places, students and teachers presented cultural programmes.

The flag hoisting also took place at all district headquarters.

Many children from Mumbai schools participated in the Republic Day parade held at Shivaji Park in south-central Mumbai in the presence of Governor K. Sankaranarayanan and several state ministers.

Sankaranarayanan took salute at an impressive parade by security forces and unfurled the tricolour.

The function was attended by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and several other ministers.

At Vile Parle in northwest Mumbai, a martyrs' memorial - Rashtriya Shaheed Smarak - was inaugurated by Bollywood actor Ajay Devgan, Congress MP Priya Dutt and legislator Krishna Hegde.

A seven-foot sculpture of a lion cast in bronze fashioned by artist Omprakash Shirgaonkar drew a parallel between the bravery of the lion and martyrs.

They paid homage to Indian soldiers Hemraj and Sudhakar Singh who were brutally killed by Pakistani troops at the Jammu and Kashmir border.

Over 700 students from 18 schools in Bandra in northwest Mumbai marched through the suburb on the occasion.

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