SHILLONG, Aug 14 - In the absence of a bandh call this year, a first after more than two decades, Meghalaya is gearing up to celebrate Independence Day with music, arts, performance and food, Home department officials said today.
The schedule of programmes has been so elaborate that people, at least in the State capital, can enjoy a free celebration at the parade ground, at the city centre Khyndailad, cinema halls and parks.
Tomorrow�s Independence Day celebration will be the first when the proscribed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) has not called a bandh after Meghalaya High Court imposed a ban on the media from publishing any bandh called by outlawed organisations.
�Tomorrow the State Government has planned an elaborate celebration which will also be entertaining for all citizens. For the past 24 years, it had been a quiet celebration in view of the bandhs,� an official said.
Since 1991, the HNLC had called bandhs on every Independence Day, rendering its celebration a low-key affair with only few people taking part in the event.
Hailing the High Court ruling, the official said taking advantage of the ruling, the State Government has directed all the 11 districts in the State to arrange for a grand celebration tomorrow. The main official celebration will be held at Polo grounds here tomorrow.
Besides, there will be free shows in at least four halls, free entry at two city parks, apart from musical events and other shows at Khyndailad city centre.
Chief Minister Mukul Sangma will hoist the national flag and take salute at the ceremonial parade here while other Cabinet Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries have been assigned the same in district headquarters and sub-divisional offices, officials said. � PTI