AGARTALA/AIZAWL, Jan 26 (IANS): Defying boycott calls by militant groups and stray attempts by the rebels to create panic, India's northeast celebrated the 63rd Republic Day and vowed to bring in economic and human development in the region.
People came out in large numbers to participate in celebrations. The Republic Day flag hoisting ceremony in Assam's Sonari town in Sivsagar district was marred by the discovery of a bomb near the venue. It was defused.
"The bomb was defused by experts from a nearby army camp," a police officer told IANS.
The discovery created panic for some time. Militant groups, including the anti-talk faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), had called for a boycott of Republic Day celebrations.
In Manipur capital Imphal too, suspected extremists exploded a bomb but no casualty was reported. A police spokesman said the bomb went off at around 9 a.m. near Shamashakhi school area. However, panic griped the locality following the explosion.
The governors of several northeastern states while unfurling the national flag in the respective state capitals appealed to militant outfits to join the mainstream.
Manipur Governor Gurbachan Jagat urged separatist outfits to shun the path of violence and come to the mainstream for all-round development of the state.
"Guns cannot solve problems. Only talks can resolve demands and issues," Jagat said after hoisting the national flag in Imphal. "If there was no terrorism, Manipur would achieve more development," the governor added.
Tripura Governor D.Y. Patil said the state is rich in natural resources and if these were properly utilised then development in all spheres would be accelerated.
"The literacy rate in Tripura as per the 2011 Census is 87.5 percent -- the fourth position in the country. Hundred percent literacy would be attained in the next five years," Patil said after unfurling the tricolour at the Assam Rifles ground here.
"The government has successfully been able to diminish extremist activities in the state, bringing them to the democratic streamline," he added.
Mizoram Governor V. Purushothaman said in Aizawl the implementation of the New Land Use Policy (NLUP) for the coordinated development of rural areas is now in full swing.
"The success of NLUP rests largely on the active participation of the beneficiaries and the concerned government departments," Purushothaman said.