Panaji, Aug 15 (UNI) Braving heavy downpour, Goa observed the Independence today with chief minister Pratapsinh Rane leading the state in paying rich tributes to the freedom fighters who laid down their lives for liberating the country from the British yoke.
Escorted by security personnel the Chief Minister reviewed the colourful ID-parade in front of Adil Shahi Palace, in the heart of the capital.
Mr Rane got drenched in the rain as he started unfurling the tri-colour even as officials besides a host of freedom fighters were sheltered in huge colourful pandals erected there on the occasion to witness the annual event.
The uniformed jawans in the parade were also seen standing erect with their guns, and their captain with the ceremonial sword even as rains lashed for more than half an hour in traunches.
So were scores of school children holding the national flags aloft in the water front as the parade was in progress.
After addressing the gathering, the chief minister presented ''Yashadamini Puraskar-2006'' to three women who had achieved excellence in different fields.
The recepients were Ms Angela R Naik, a national teakwando champion, Dr Nishtya Desai, director of NGO Children's Rights and Ms Jyothi Kunkuleinkar, a noted writer and recepient of 13 state level awards for literature.
Deputy Chief Minister Dr Wilfred de Souza and State Chief Secretary Mr J P Singh and Director General of Police Mr Naeeraj Kumar escorted the chief mininister earlier to the flag post.
Mr Rane also flagged off a racing competition for school children in this connection at the complex.
He later visited the Patradevi and laid floral wreaths on the Martyrs' Memorial before paying rich tributes to the freedom fighters who made supreme sacrifice for the independence of the country.
UNI BM KU LS PC1548