Tradl fervour marks Dussehra with PM, Sonia gracing occasion

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New Delhi, Oct 21 (UNI) Traditional fervour marked the celebration of Dussehra festival, which symbolises the triumph of good over the forces of evil, in the Capital today.

A joyous feeling gripped the people with burning of effigies of the demon king Ravana, his brother Kumbhakarana and his son Meghnad in several parts of the city, culminating the festivities.

Grand functions were held at the Ramlila Maidan and the Parade Grounds at Red Fort where the effigies were burnt.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Lt Governor Tejender Khanna, Union Minister Kapil Sibal and other dignitaries graced the events while watching the effigies of the demon kings go down, signifying the triumph of good over evil.

Also present were Priyanka Gandhi and her husband Robert Vadra.

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said festivals like Dussehra and Durga Puja were part of India's age old traditions.

''It is also an example of our rich cultural heritage,'' he added.

''On this occasion, I hope that all Indians will take a pledge that they will leave no stone unturned to make India prosperous,'' Dr Singh said.

Tight security arrangements were made in and around Ramlila Maidan as well as in several other areas where the Dussehra festivities were held, in the wake of recent terror attacks in some parts of the country.

Though markets across Delhi bore a festive look, security in various markets in Delhi like Janpath, Lajpat Nagar, Karol Bagh, Sarojini Nagar and Chittaranjan Park has been beefed up following the recent blasts in Ludhiana and Ajmer.

In various markets, door frame metal detectors (DFMDs) have been set up at the exit and entry points.

Delhi police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat said policemen have been deployed in all busy areas and were keeping a strict vigil.

Further, commandos and spotters were patrolling crowded localities.

He said various market associations and public volunteers were also actively working with them to keep a strict check.

Also called "Dasa-Hara", which means the slaying of the ten heads of the Ravana, Dussehra denotes abdication of ten vices --passion, pride, anger, greed, infatuation, lust, hatred, jealousy, selfishness and crookedness.

UNI

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