Police officers of various cadres recalled the sacrifices rendered by the freedom fighters to achieve independence to the country.

They paid floral tributes to the leaders.

Celebrating the 67th Independence Day at the Police Parade Grounds on Thursday, City Police Commissioner B. Srinivasulu hoisted the national flag and received the guard of honour. The sacrifices of several leaders were behind the freedom which we are enjoying now, said Mr. Srinivasulu.

“The country will develop only when there is peace and harmony among the public. It is the duty of every citizen to maintain peace and cooperate for the police in keeping the law and order under control,” said the Police Commissioner.

Alerting the public on the activities of the lumpen elements and terrorist groups, who are trying to disrupt unity by creating violence, the city police chief said that surveillance has been stepped by at the public places, bus and railway stations, shopping malls, hotels and other vulnerable points.

Referring to prevention of crimes, Mr. Srinivasulu said the police have extradited the rowdy and anti-social elements who are disrupting law and order and causing inconvenience to the public life. Stern action would be taken against the criminals, and those who break the law, if public bring their activities to the notice of the police, he assured.

Police are making round-the-clock efforts to prevent any untoward incidents during the ongoing agitations after the announcement of bifurcation of the State.

Steps were being taken to provide medical aid for the police who are exposed to pollution, heat and mental stress, said the commissioner and advised the officers to be available for the public visiting the stations and treat them with respect.

Later, students of various institutions performed cultural programmes at the parade grounds.

Parties celebrate

The 67 Independence Day was celebrated by leaders and cadre of the city Congress at the Andhra Ratna Bhavan here.

The leaders and party workers wore khadi clothes and Gandhi caps on the occasion. Former minister Devineni Rajasekhar, MLA Malladi Vishnu, working president Meesala Rajeswara Rao, president Adapa Nagendram, former PCC president Kolanukonda Sivaji, Tribal Cell chairman T.Nageswara Rao and the heads of the other party wings attended the programme. They re-dedicated themselves to the task of strengthening of the party.

In another programme organised by the Bhartiya Janata Party veteran RTC Babu Rao unfurled the tricoloured flag in 12 division of Patamata Lanka.

Vijayawada East constituency BJP convenor D Chandrasekhara Rao, division president Saikam Venkata Rao, secretary G. Rao and others participated.

Low-key protests

Protests against bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh turned out to be a low-key affair overshadowed as they were by the Independence Day celebrations.

The APNGOs, Revenue Services and other striking associations have desisted from causing any disturbances.

Supporters of unified State participated in the celebrations after staging token protests and warned that the agitation will be intensified from Friday if the process of formation of Telangana State is carried forward.

Most of the associations, which have been leading the protests against bifurcation for the last two weeks, participated in the ID fete giving a day’s break to the agitation.

The officers and staff of various Government departments, who went on an indefinite strike on August 14, joined the Independence Day celebrations.

Buses stay off roads

However, RTC buses stayed off the roads as the strike by the majority National Mazdoor Union continued for the third day. Mangalagiri MLA K. Kamala participated in ‘Vanta Varpu’ in the town and later the protesters blocked traffic on the national highway.

Meanwhile, the Samaikyandhra political and student Joint Action Committees called for intensifying the stir from Friday in order to throw a spanner in the formation of Telangana State.

On high alert

Security forces continued to be on high alert.

More In: Vijayawada