Riot of colours as India plays Holi

Riot of colours as India plays Holi

Riot of colours as India plays Holi

Holi was celebrated across the country with enthusiasm as people today applied colours on each other, savoured sweets and exchanged greetings to send out a message of cultural harmony.

However, the festive mood in Rajasthan's Bhiwadi town in Alwar district was dampened after a Dalit teenager was allegedly beaten to death while playing Holi by a group of people.

From morning, revellers thronged streets smearing faces with coloured powder and children hurled water-filled balloons from balconies and rooftops to celebrate the festival of colours which heralds the advent of spring.

People hugged each other wishing "Happy Holi" as roads were filled with groups singing and dancing to the accompaniment of drums.

President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended Holi greetings to the people.

"Greetings and best wishes to fellow citizens on the auspicious occasion of Holi. The festival of colours, Holi is a celebration of harmony in our society. May it bring peace, joy and prosperity to everyone's lives #PresidentKovind," the Rashtrapati Bhavan said on Twitter.

Naidu on the micro-blogging site said, "May this festival paint our lives with the bright hues of peace, harmony, prosperity and happiness. #happyholi2018 #HappyHoli."

Extending his greetings, prime minister tweeted, "Wishing everyone a Happy Holi!"

In the national capital, the festival was celebrated across the city with fervour with no untoward incidents reported during the day.

However, Holi was not celebrated at the official residence of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at 4 Flag Staff Road to protest the ongoing sealing drive in Delhi.

"No public celebrations at CM @ArvindKejriwals residence. Celebrations called off to protest against ongoing Sealing drive in Delhi. Lacs of shop owners and workers are unemployed (sic)," the AAP's Delhi unit chief spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj tweeted.

This was retweeted by the chief minister.

Kejriwal, BJP Leader Vijender Gupta and Congress' Ajay Maken tweeted their Holi wishes.

The police said that no untoward incidents.

In Uttar Pradesh, the festival of colours was celebrated with traditional fanfare.

The smell of gulal and joyous spirit pervaded streets as people in the state exchanged greeting and savoured festive dishes 'malpua', 'dahibada' and 'gujiya'.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath participated in the Falgun Mahotsav organised by the RSS and the Hindu Yuva Vahini in Gorakhpur.

However, he gave the traditional Narsingh Shobha Yatra a miss. Adityanath had been leading the yatra, taken out on the occasion of Holi, for the last 22 years.

"Don't shower colours forcefully on those who don't want to play Holi. It is a festival that symbolises harmony and brotherhood," he said.

In Mathura, pilgrims played Holi at the Dwarkadhish and Behari Ji temple with herbal Tesu colours.

In Rajasthan, Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje in her greetings said, "This festival of excitement, enthusiasm and colours endorse mutual brotherhood, love, happiness and prosperity."

The festival of colours was also celebrated with fervour in Punjab and Haryana, and the states' common capital Chandigarh.

Notwithstanding the cold morning, people in large numbers came out on streets and celebrated the festival in Himachal Pradesh.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur organised 'Holi Milan' at his official residence and also attended the concluding function of the Palampur Holi festival.

Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi and Chief Minister V Narayanasamy exchanged greetings on the occasion.

Bollywood celebrity couple Shabana Azmi and Javed Akhtar cancelled Holi celebrations after the sudden death of iconic actor Sridevi last week.

"Our Holi party at Janki Kurir stands cancelled on 2nd March in the wake of Sridevis passing away," Azmi said on Twitter.

The Green Acres Co-operative Housing Society Limited in Mumbai, where Sridevi resided, also cancelled its celebrations.

Greeting people and fans on the occasion, Superstar Amitabh Bachchan tweeted, "T 2730 - Happy Holi .. the colours of life be within you ever.." PTI TEAM ANB ANB

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