INDIA. Mumbai: While people are still scared of COVID-19 and senior citizens are advised not to venture out and remain indoors, a centenarian freedom fighter surprised many people at 72 nd Republic Day function at Chhatrapati Shivaji Park at Dadar in Central Mumbai on Tuesday.
The 103-year-old veteran freedom fighter Satyabodh Singit had come accompanied by his son and daughter-in-law and was seated quietly in a reserved seat row. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray who was in the process of leaving for the next function noticed Singit and came back to inquire about him. The freedom fighter was touched by the CM’s gesture and blessed him.
Earlier Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari received the guard of honour and hoasted the Indian tricolour flag. Two police contingents including a Mounted police unit marched past. Besides Mumbai Police band marched with melody, playing a famous patriotic song “Sare Jahan Se Accha Hindostan Hamara” in smart formation. The Mumbai police band set up way back in 1935, to mark the Silver Jubilee Year of the British Empire, is the cynosure of eyes at ceremonial parades.
Thackeray hoisted the National Flag at his official residence at “Varsha” in South Mumbai. He and his wife Rashmi Thackeray extended their wishes on the occasion of Republic Day to the Police Squad, Officers and Staff present. Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar hoisted the flag at Police Parade Ground in Pune.
Eventful R Day
The Republic Day in Maharashtra was eventful with the inauguration of many projects by Thackeray. To curb cyber crime, he inaugurated five divisional Cyber Police Stations in Mumbai. He also launched reception rooms at 94 Police Stations in the city. On the occasion, he said that the cyber crime cannot be seen with eyes as such the police should be doubly vigilant. Any crime is like a virus and has to be nipped in the bud, Thackeray said. He lauded Mumbai police for their efforts in combating the crime. He also said that women’s security should be given utmost importance to prevent crime against women.
Thackeray launched online, the “Jail Tourism” initiative with Deputy CM Ajit Pawar and Home Minister Anil Deshmukh at Yerawada Central Prison in Pune. The scheme titled “Jail Phiro” has been devised to make people aware of the jails in the state. Under the scheme, the people will be taken around the jails in Mumbai, Nashik, and Nagpur on specific days. The initiative has been launched to facilitate people to visit and see from close quarters the historical prisons.
During the launch event, CM said one need not commit crime to visit a jail. He also spoke about the several freedom fighters who spent a jail term in the Yerwada jail in Pune. He also spoke about Barrister Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and his days in Andaman Jail during British Rule.
Thackeray also inaugurated Balasaheb Thackeray Gorewada international zoological park in Nagpur. Tourists will soon be able to enjoy various theme-based jungle safaris at the Zoological Park. The Gorewada zoological park is the largest such park in India covering an area of more than 564 hectares. Combined with Gorewada rescue centre for animals, and Gorewada Reserve, the park area expands to more than 1,914 hectares.
Taking note of a protest staged near the park by various tribal organizations demanding a change in the name of the park, the chief minister announced the setting up of ‘Gondwana Theme Park’ portraying the culture and history of the Gond tribe under the Gorewada project.
In meanwhile Home Minister Anil Deshmukh praised Maharashtra Police for capturing 52 President medals. “Maharashtra Police force has always been known for its bravery and efficiency. It is a proud moment for all of us as our police personnel has won 13 gallantry medals, 4 special service medals, and 40 medals for Meritorious Service, he tweeted.