Dehradun: Independence Day was celebrated in Uttarakhand with Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna unfurling the National Flag at the Parade Ground here sans the traditional gaiety in order to show solidarity with people killed or rendered homeless by floods in Uttarkashi.

Twentyeight people were killed and hundreds of others rendered homeless in a cloudburst early this month.

Uttarakhand Governor Aziz Qureshi hoisted the National Flag at Rajbhavan and paid rich tributes to Mahatma Gandhi and all freedom fighters. The PAC jawans gave a guard of honour to the tricolour and the Governor.

Bahuguna also gave away bravery awards on the occasion to two children and decorated five police personnel with medals for their outstanding contribution in service.

The two children, who were given "Uttam Jeevan Raksha Padak", are Shruti Lodhi (posthumous) and Priyanshu Joshi. Lodhi had also received national bravery award (posthumous) while Joshi was honoured with Sanjay Chopra award on January 26, 2011.

The five police personnel, who were decorated with Mukhyamantri Sarahniya Sewa Padak include Prakash Chandra Dewali (Inspector), Rajkishore Singh Farswan (Inspector), Bhuwan Chandra Pande (Sub-Inspector), Ashish Kumar Singh (Head Constable) and Shamendra Kumar Shahu (constable).

The Chief Minister also honoured the freedom fighters, who attended the Independence Day function.

He said the state government has doubled the relief amounts, including the ex-gratia given to next-of-kins of deceased persons under NDRF norms to Rs 3 lakh from Rs 1.5 lakh.

He said a the state Cabinet meeting would be convened at Gairsain in Chamoli district on Oct 2.

Praising the state government for its efficient economical management, Bahuguna said he presented revenue surplus budget without imposing any additional tax on the public.


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