Bhubaneswar: The Commissionerate Police reviewed the security Tuesday and watched a full dress rehearsal of the flag hoisting ceremony and parade at the Exhibition Ground, the new venue for the Independence Day celebration here.
Various teams from the State Police and other forces along with various school teams participated in the parade practice in the presence of senior police officers. For the first time the state-level Independence Day parade is being organised at a venue other than the Mahatma Gandhi Marg in Bhubaneswar. Many enthusiasts are disappointed to know that the daring bike stunts will not be performed this year.
Director General of Police (DGP) Bijay Kumar Sharma, who monitored the ongoing preparations, said that the dress rehearsals were up to the mark. “Since this is the first time when the parade will be held at Exhibition Ground, we are ensuring that the event turns out to be flawless.”
“Our primary targets are foolproof security for VIPs and a safe and secure environment for the public to witness the state-level event with convenience,” the DGP added.
On the other hand, the Police Commissionerate is taking no chances so far as security is concerned. The entire Exhibition Ground has been converted into a fortress with a posse of police personnel guarding the venue.
Police Commissioner Satyajit Mohanty said, “We expect a crowd of more than 8,000 Thursday to witness the flag hoisting and parade. Infallible security measures have been adopted to ensure a safe and incident-free event.”
There are many private buildings around the venue which will be under watch. Besides, an intensive drive is being undertaken to check hotels and lodges in and around Bhubaneswar. Police pickets and road blocks during the night have also been intensified to detect the movement of anti-socials, he added.
Meanwhile, an exhibition on Mahatma Gandhi’s life will be organised at the Unit-III Exhibition Ground in the city in connection with the 150th birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation. A photo exhibition on the Mahatma’s life and his memorabilia will be on display at the expo during Independence Day celebrations.
Odisha is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi in a big way as he had visited the state and inspired many during the freedom struggle.
Meanwhile, the students of Maharishi College of Natural Law and members of the Maharishi Daredevil Bikers group will not be able to perform their stunts at the I-Day parade.
It was the first student bike group in the city which had been participating in the parade since 2012. The group members were saddened by the decision to scrap bike stunts from the Independence Day parade. They had performed stunts like pyramid, parallel bar and fire ring jumping on bikes during I-Day and Republic Day parades.
Mihir Ranjan Saran, the chief trainer of the students and founder of the Maharishi Daredevil Bikers group, said the students were sad as they had prepared a lot for the event.
Manoj, a student and member of the group, said, “Our group has around 500 students including boys and girls and is the first one to not only have boys, but also girls who used to perform at Independence and Republic Day parades and has won a lot of appreciation.”