TN celebrates Republic Day

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(Eds: Adds details, changes slug) Chennai, Jan 26 (PTI) The 72nd Republic Day was celebrated in Tamil Nadu on Tuesday with Governor Banwarilal Purohit unfurling the tricolour at the Marina here.

Purohit also took the salute of the parade.

Chief Minister K Palaniswami gave away medals, including for gallantry and communal harmony to various recipients.

Colourful cultural programmes depicting India's diversity from different states including Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Telangana were performed at the event while a few floats were also taken out to mark the day.

Earlier, Purohit laid a wreath at the War Memorial here on the occasion.

Palaniswami gave away medals and prizes including the Anna Medal for Gallantry, Kottai Ameer award for communal harmony, best performing farmer producer company and the Chief Minister's Trophies for the best police stations.

The gallantry medal winners were P Mullai, a government high school teacher who risked her life to save children by evacuating them on time during a gas leak in Ranipet district even as the LPG cylinder exploded, leaving her injured in a resultant wall collapse.

Loco Pilot J Suresh of Vaigai Express was also awarded the Anna medal for his timely action of applying emergency brakes after noticing boulders on track despite low visibility, saving the lives of about 1,500 rail passengers, the government said.

Veterinary assistant surgeon Dr A Prakash also won the medal.

He was awarded for giving anesthetic drug with his bare hands to an elephant rescued from a well after 18 hours in Dharmapuri after the pachyderm started charging at the public. He did so as as there was no time to load the tranquilizing gun and he thus protected the public, the government said.

Later, floats of 17 government departments including Police, Information and Public Relations, School Education and Health and Family Welfare were taken out in procession.PTI SA SS SAT PTI PTI