Maharashtra celebrates I-Day against backdrop of naval tragedy

Mumbai, Aug 15 : Maharashtra Thursday celebrated the 67th Independence Day in the shadow of Wednesday's naval tragedy in which 18 sailors were feared killed after an Indian Navy submarine sank here.

Governor K. Sankaranarayanan unfurled the national flag in Pune and greeted the people on the occasion.

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan hoisted the tricolour at a function in the Mantralaya and spoke about the strides made by the state in various sectors.

Mumbai Mayor Sunil Prabhu also unfurled the flag at the Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation headquarters with a large number of employees in attendance.

Similar functions were held at the headquarters of the Western Railway, Central Railway and Konkan Railway, the state Police Headquarters, headquarters of various political parties, government buildings, private organisations, colleges and schools and housing complexes across the city.

In some parts of Vidarbha, which has been ravaged by massive floods in recent weeks, some people boycotted the official functions but held their own small celebrations to mark the occasion.

"This was to register our silent protest at the lack of help to the people in the flood-ravaged areas and the continuing neglect of the debt-hit farmers of this region," said Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti chief Kishore Tiwari.

Mumbai and state police have put up stringent security measures in the city to ensure incident-free celebrations.

In a major setback for the Indian Navy, a Russian-made conventional submarine caught fire and sank at dawn with 18 sailors at the Mumbai dockyard Wednesday after two near simultaneous explosions.

--IANS (Posted on 15-08-2013)

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