(Rptg correcting name in para one, line three)

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New Delhi, Apr 18 (UNI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today released commemorative coins on freedom fighters Rani of Jhansi, Lakshmi Bhai, and General Tantya Tope and the last Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar marking the ongoing celebration of the 150th anniversary of the first war of Independence.

Releasing the coins, in the denominations of Rs 5 and Rs 100, Dr Singh said it was necessary to work together to ensure that the sacrifices of the freedom fighters did not go in vain.

''Our freedom fighters sacrificed their lives because they wanted for every Indian a life of dignity, a life free from want, free from the ancient scourge of poverty, ignorance and disease.' ''It is our responsibility to build a new prosperous India that is inclusive as well as caring. It is our responsibility to build an India marked by harmony between communities, social justice and the equality of all, irrespective of religion, region, language or caste. It is by doing so, that we will be able to pay true homage to those who sacrificed their lives in the cause of our freedom,'' he said.

The function, held at his official residence at 7 Race Course Road, was attended by Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Culture Minister Ambika Soni, Home Minister Shivraj Patil and other dignitaries.

The 100-rupee coin would not be in circulation, while 25 million coins of the Rs 5 denomination would be issued for public use.


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