Patriotic fervour, freedom spirit mark I-Day in Karnataka

Patriotic fervour, freedom spirit mark I-Day in Karnataka

Patriotic fervour and the spirit of freedom and nationalism marked the 69th Independence Day celebrations in Karnataka on Saturday.

Chief Minister Siddaramiah unfurled the tri-colour and sang the national anthem along with about 10,000 people who gathered at the Field Marshal Manekshaw Parade Ground in the city centre for the grand occasion.

Earlier, a military helicopter hovered over the sprawling ground showering red rose petals around the podium, exciting the gathering and evoking applause.

Standing on an open jeep, the chief minister drove around for guard of honour and received salute from contingents of the three services (army, navy and air force), state police, home guards and fire forces at the podium.

After Siddaramaiah addressed the gathering in Kannada, battalions of the three services, state reserve police, home guards, NCC and Bharat Scouts and Guides, contingents of about 3,000 boys and girls from city school sand music bands treated the audience with a two-hour long impressive march past and historical and cultural shows, with patriotic songs renting the air.

Martial arts and daring feats and acrobatics on motorcycles by the military as well as the state police teams kept the crowds spellbound.

Later, the chief minister presented medals and awards to police officers and distributed prizes to the participating organisations. Reports from across the state said the national flag was hoisted in the respective districts by state cabinet ministers and deputy commissioners.

In Mangaluru, about 350 km away from here, about 500 students held a 350-metre long national flag in a long line that spilled into the main street from their school playground.

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