Truncated, spectator-less celebrations mark Republic Day in Kolkata

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Kolkata, Jan 26 (PTI) The 72nd Republic Day celebrations were cut short in Kolkata due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but there was no dearth of enthusiam and energy as the metropolis witnessed a colourful parade and procession with decorated tableaux at Red Road on Tuesday.

No spectators were allowed at the customary programme, which was truncated to around 30 minutes, and seating arrangements were made following COVID-19 protocols, a senior official said.

'Only a few VVIPs other than Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and senior bureaucrats were invited,' he said.

Dhankhar hoisted the tricolour and presided over the march past of the armed forces and the state police at Red Road in the heart of the city.

The West Bengal government showcased tableaux highlighting its initiatives like 'Duare Sarkar' and 'Paray Paray Samadhan'.

The Kolkata Police also unveield a special tableau 'Loho Pronam' in honour of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose to mark his 125th birth anniversary.

Contingents of the West Bengal Police, Kolkata Mounted Police and Kolkata Police motorcyclists took part in the parade as well.

At least 1,000 police officers along with security personnel of the Heavy Radio Flying Squad and Radio Flying Squad were deployed in and around the Red Road area, the official said.

Bomb squad personnel with sniffer dogs also kept guard, he added.

Earlier in the day, Banerjee, in a tweet, called for protecting and preserving the ideals of the Constitution.

'Justice, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. We must forever strive to protect, preserve & follow all the ideals of the Constitution. Warm greetings to every Indian on Republic Day! Today's parade in Kolkata has been dedicated to Deshnayak Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose,' she said.

The chief minister and governor were seen exchanging pleasantries at the end of the programme. PTI DC SUS RBT RBT