People defy rains, Maoist threats to celebrate I-Day

August 15th, 2008 - 4:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, Aug 15 (IANS) Rains and threats from Maoist guerrillas could not dampen the enthusiasm of hundreds of thousands in Bihar as they celebrated India’s Independence Day Friday. Officials said that large crowds attended functions across the states braving rains Friday morning at several places.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar hoisted the national flag at the Gandhi Maidan here. Only minutes earlier heavy rains had lashed Patna.

Several areas in the city including the Gandhi Maidan were waterlogged due to rains over the last few days.

Similar reports independence day celebrations despite rains poured in from Muzaffarpur, Darbhanga, Sitamarhi, Araria, Purnia, Bhagalpur and West Champaran.

The day was also celebrated in Gaya, Aurangabad, Arwal, Rohtas, Nawada and Jamui, where Maoist guerrillas are active.

Nitish Kumar highlighted the need to guard against secessionist forces and maintain brotherhood and harmony.

“Independence day provides us with the opportunity to take a resolution to keep the unity of the country,” Nitish Kumar said.

Promising to turn Bihar, one of the least developed states into a fully developed state by 2015, Nitish Kumar appealed to the people to help in the development process.

All police stations were put on high alert and additional security forces deployed at railway stations, airports, power generation units, refineries and government offices.

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