West Bengal celebrates Independence Day

Kolkata, Aug 15 (IANS) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee unfurled the tricolour as the state celebrated the 69th Independence Day on Saturday.

Sportspersons and luminaries form the world of art, culture, music and cinema participated in a colourful parade accompanied by tableaus depicting the state’s cultural heritage.

As the colourful tableaus went pase, a helicopter showered flower petals on people gathered to witness the celebrations.

A tableau of Kanyashree Prakalpa, a flagship project for the girl child, was a part of the parade.

On the occasion, Chief Minister Banerjee conferred the Police Medals to outstanding IPS officers.

After the Trinamool Congress took power in 2011, Banerjee changed the location of the Independence Day event to Red Road from Writers’ Building, the state secretariat. She also started Independence Day parades.

The tricolour was also unfurled at the enclaves in Cooch Behar district where people were recently granted citizenship after remaining stateless for nearly seven decades.

“This is for the first time we are participating in Independence Day without fear. Earlier, we used to be apprehensive while unfurling the tricolour,” said a resident of an enclave in Mosaldanga.

Tricolours fluttered across the enclaves, which became a part of India following the implementation of the Land Boundary agreement between India and Bangladesh.

Independence Day was also celebrated in schools and colleges, hospitals and other government and non-government institutions across the state.

The Border Security Force observed the day at the Petrapole checkpoint and handed over fruits and sweets to Bangladesh Border Guards.

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