GUWAHATI, Jan 26 (IANS): Defying boycott calls and a general strike called by the militant outfits, the people of Assam came out to the streets in large numbers Sunday to celebrate the Republic Day.
Governor J.B. Patnaik urged all the militant outfits of the state to shun the path of violence to bring in development in the state.
Outfits like the anti-talk faction of the ULFA and the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) and others had called for a boycott and shutdown Sunday.
Strict security arrangements were made to avoid any untoward incident.
J.B. Patnaik unfurled the Tricolour at the city's Veterinary College Playground, where the official function was held.
"Assam has undergone a sea-change over the last 12 years and is rapidly developing as a vibrant economy," Patnaik said.
"It is due to the steps taken by the Assam government, that 13 militant groups have laid down arms and joined the mainstream," he said.
Patnaik said the government has increased the monthly pension of freedom fighters to Rs.15,000 from the existing Rs.8,000 and added that the centre has agreed to increase the number of Foreigners Tribunal from 36 to 100 to detect and deport foreigners residing illegally in the state.
Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi paid a rich tribute to the martyrs of the nation at a function organised held at Shradhanjali Kanan, a recreational park in the heart of the city.
The other cabinet members of the state and the legislators also participated in the celebrations in their respective constituencies and others parts of the state.
Flags were hoisted at government offices, schools and other institutions.