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Governor Purohit leads Republic Day celebrations in TN

Chennai, Jan 26: Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit led the 71st Republic Day celebrations in the state, unfurling the national flag at the Marina here on Sunday.

At the celebrations at Marina, a firefighter and five civilians (one posthumous) who risked their lives and rescued fellow humans were among those awarded the Anna Medal for Gallantry.

Earlier, an impressive march past by the members of the Armed Forces, state police, scouts and guides was held on the occasion.

A pageantry of floats by government departments highlighting various initiatives, including Chief Minister K Palaniswami’s 2019 tri-nation visit to attract investments, was among the highlights.

Students and artistes presented colourful dance performances.

The Governor earlier paid tributes at the War Memorial here by placing a wreath.

Palaniswami presented various awards, including the Anna Gallantry medals. The recipients included R Raja, Fireman Driver with the Fire and Rescue Services in Nagapattinam.

He had risked his life to save a child trapped in a 20 feet deep borewell in 2018 through a hole dug by him using his hands even though he knew that the loose sand may bury him.

Among the civilians who got the award under the general public category were Akesh (posthumous) and his friends Fistan Franklin, S Vinith, D Charliepan and D Easter Premkumar, who rushed to the help of a woman being abducted in an autorickshaw at the nearby Tiruvllore dirtrict.

The two-wheeler Akesh was riding rammed into the autorickshaw and he died of head injuries while others suffered injuries. The woman escaped by jumping out while auto driver was subsequently nabbed.

Two women — M Dhanalakshmi and J Vinodhini, were presented with the award for bravely taking on chain snatchers in different incidents while Thanjavur-based couple Palaniappan and Indira Gandhi got the gallantry medal for fighting off a robber at their house.

The award carries a cheque of Rs one lakh, a medal and a certificate.

The Kottai Ameer Communal Harmony Award, 2020 was presented to M Shaj Mohammed of Tiruchirappalli for his efforts to create peace among the people of different faiths during an issue and sort it out peacefully.

Besides Palaniswami, Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, state Ministers and others participated in the Republic Day celebrations for which tight security arrangements had been put in place.

At the Madras High Court campus, Chief Justice AP Sahi unfurled the Indian flag and took the salute.

The Republic Day was celebrated across the state at various places.

Meanwhile, members of the Tamil Nadu unit of the Shiv Sena were detained by the police at Rameswaram when they tried to proceed to Katchatheevu, an islet ceded to Sri Lanka by India, to hoist the Indian nationa flag there.

Around 20 Shiv Sena workers were detained when they tried to proceed towards the islet with the demand for its retrieval.

Katchatheevu was ceded to Sri Lanka by India in the mid-70s under a pact and there have been demands in Tamil Nadu for its retrieval with even late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa moving the Supreme Court on the matter earlier.

PTI

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