IMPHAL, Jan 27 � Amidst tight security, Manipur celebrated the 66th Republic Day on Monday. The main function was held at the well guarded Kangla Fort in the heart of Imphal town with Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh as chief guest.
The Chief Minister also inspected the guard of honour before he unfurled the National Tricolour amidst the playing of the National Anthem by a band party of Manipur Rifles.
Later, the chief guest received salutes of around 120 different contingents, including cultural troupes, led by Commandant of 8th Indian Reserve Battalion and former Governor�s ADC Singsit as parade commander.
Contingents of CRPF, Manipur Rifles, Manipur Police, Manipur Fire Service, ex-servicemen, school and college students and cultural troupes took part in the celebration. The celebration also witnessed 13 tableaus of different State government departments.
Later, Deputy Chief Minister Gaikghangam gave the vote of thanks to the participating contingents in a function held at the parade ground of 1st Manipur Rifles in the afternoon in the presence of senior ministers I Hemochandra, AK Miarabai and others.
Meanwhile, suspected armed militants triggered as many as six bomb blasts at different parts of Manipur before and during the 66th Republic Day celebrations, sources said. But no one was injured in the blasts.
The bombs went off near Old Lambulane, Hatta Golabati and Yaiskul Athletic Club Ground (Moirangkhom) besides another explosion at Khoyathong, all in and around Imphal town, while two other explosions took place at Wangjing in Thoubal and Bishnupur in Bishnupur district, sources added.
With Monday�s explosions, Imphal recorded as many as 14 bomb explosions in the past one week.
Shut down affects normal life: Meanwhile, normal life in Manipur was severely affected during the 21-hour shut down called by some armed groups operating in the region.
Markets, educational institutions, shops and business establishments were closed, while vehicular traffic between Manipur and other neighbouring States were off the roads. The busy Imphal town wore a desolate look since early morning.