Prez awards Shabana, Shekhar Gupta for excellence

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Guwahati, Oct 19 (UNI) President Pratibha Devisingh Patil today gave away Fakhruddin Ali Award for National Integration to veteran journalist Shekhar Gupta and noted film actor and social activist Shabana Azmi here today.

Fakhruddin Ahmed was the fifth president of India and was from Assam. The state government instituted this award since 2004 in his honour.

Indian Express Editor-in-chief Shekhar Gupta was there in person to receive the award, the citation and Rs one lakh. However, Shabana Azmi could not receive the award in person, following her pre occupation. Both had been selected for the year 2006.

Assam Governor Shiv Charan Mathur and Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi were also present at the function, which was organised by the Cultural Department of the state government.

Speaking on the occasion, Ms Patil recalled the late President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed's contribution and also heaped praises on the contribution by the awardees in their respective fields.

Both Mr Mathur and Mr Gogoi also praised the former President's role in the national integration and lauded the contribution of Mr Gupta and Shabana in their respective fields.

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