R-Day celebrated peacefully in Assam

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Guwahati, Jan 26 (UNI) The Republic Day celebrations in Assam passed off peacefully despite boycott call by militants.

Venues of official functions in many districts were changed at the last minute to thwart any possible attack from ultras and the function was held amid unprecedented security.

A series of bombs were recovered in the run up to the Republic Day.

In the central function held at the Judge's field, Governor Lt General Ajay Singh unfurled the national flag and took the guard of honour of an impressive march past jointly put out by the police and paramilitary forces.

The Governor once again appealed to the ULFA to come to the negotiation table. ''I once again urge upon all the insurgent groups to come forward for talks with the government within the framework of the Indian Constitution. Our doors are always open for a dialogue, so that the problem of insurgency is resolved and peace restored in the state,'' he said.

The government last night took the security measures to an unprecedented level when they shifted the celebrations to highly secured police grounds inside police reserves of Bongaigaon, Nagaon and Golghat districts.

This was done following intelligence reports that militant groups were trying to target the celebration. Recovery of almost half a dozen bombs and explosives in the past 48 hours had compelled change of venue.

Meanwhile, a bandh like atmosphere prevailed in the state with very few vehicles on roads and most business establishments and markets closed.

A boycott call was given by four militant organizations which included the ULFA and the Kamatapur Liberation Organization.

However, defying their bandh call, journalists of Guwahati celebrated the Republic day hoisting the tri colour in the Guwahati Press Club. The flag was hoisted by veteran journalists Dhirendranath Chakaravarty.

UNI MT PL RD Mir RK1250

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