New Delhi: Barring a Naxal attack on a CRPF camp in Jharkhand and hoisting of black flags by Maoists in Orissa, Independence Day on Monday passed off peacefully in states, including Jammu and Kashmir, with chief ministers focussing on steps to improve law and order.

Ultras in some northeastern states had given a call to boycott Independence Day functions which passed off without any untoward incident.

In Jharkhand, Maoists fired on a CRPF camp triggering an encounter at Rania in Khunti district.

According to Rania police station in-charge Raj Kapoor, the rebels opened fire soon after the flag hoisting ceremony at the CRPF camp. The security personnel also retaliated, police said, adding there was no immediate report of any casualty.

The day passed off peacefully in the Kashmir Valley where security forces had stepped up vigil to foil any possible terror plans.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah unfurled the tricolour and took the salute at the parade at Bakshi Stadium, the venue for main function in Jammu and Kashmir.

Although there was no specific threat from militants, the Union Home Ministry issued an alert warning of possible terror strike in the Valley. As a security measure, mobile phones with portable Internet connections were jammed across the Valley.

In Orissa, Independence Day celebrations were marred by a boycott call and hoisting of black flags by Maoists at some places even as Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik asked the rebels to abjure violence and join the mainstream.
   
Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said the security of the people in Mumbai and the rest of the state was the topmost priority of his government.

Addressing a gathering after unfurling the tricolour on the occasion of the 65th Independence Day, Chavan said his government is committed to ensuring that people feel safe and secure in the state. Amid a boycott call by a rebel group in one part of the state and growing militant activities in another, Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma asserted that insurgency, extortion and other anti-national activities would not be tolerated and dealt with a firm hand.
       
As a bandh called by the banned Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) brought life to a standstill in the four Khasi-Jaintia districts, Sangma expressed the need to be more vigilant as there were "fissiparous tendencies raising their ugly heads".

Independence Day was celebrated in Manipur amid tight security deployment in view of the bodycott call given by eleven insurgent organisations with the main function being held at the 1st Manipur Rifles parade ground.

Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda said the state’s surrender policy to control extremism has received a good response and several naxalites have been influenced by this policy and joined mainstream.

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jarbom Gamlin vowed to improve the law and order situation in the state and announced certain policies for strengthening law enforcing agencies.

Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar appealed to insurgents to shun the path of violence and join mainstream to create a developed state.

The ultras were still using the soil of neighbouring Bangladesh, cutting the barbed wire fencing to enter Indian territory and kidnapping people for ransom", he said.

In a veiled attack on Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi said in Nadiad that it is a shame that people still visit homes of the poor for a photo-op.

In Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said he would take "all-possible effective" measures to root out corruption in the state at all level with people's help. "Corruption has emerged as a major burning issue before the country.... the institution of Lokayukta is being made more strong and effective... I will take all-possible effective to root out corruption like illness in Bihar at all level with people's help", Kumar said.

The Independence Day functions in West Bengal and Nagaland were peaceful.

In Chennai, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said people have won a new freedom with the end of the "tyrannical family rule" in the state.

In her first independence day address since being swept to power in a landslide victory in the April 13 assembly elections, she said there was no freedom for the people in any field in the last five years as they lived in fear.

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy announced that the state government would bring in a "Right to Service Act" to ensure that government's services and programmes are delivered to the people promptly.

The proposed legislation would be as revolutionary as the Right to Information Act brought in by the Centre, Chandy said in his first Independence Day address after coming to power following Congress-led UDF victory's in Apr13 Assembly polls.

In Jaipur, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said the government was making all efforts to accelerate growth and improve the living conditions of its citizens.

Punjab, Haryana and capital Chandigarh celebrated Independence day amidst unprecedented security arrangements across the region.

Freedom fighters, who played a vital role in the struggle for independence, were remembered on the occasion.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati said that law and order was top priority of her government as it was necessary for the development of the state.

"For development it is necessary that people should consider themselves to be safe and secure and law and order is our top priority," Mayawati said.

She said the government launched a number of schemes for the farmers and a new land acquisition policy was launched after a mahapanchayat.

(Agencies)