KARNATAKA

`Ranga Panchami' concludes on a peaceful note in Hubli

SPLASH OF COLOURS: Young revellers dance as the 18-foot `Kamanna' made of bamboo is taken out in a procession before being torched in Hubli on Saturday during `Ranga Panchami' celebrations.  



Staff Correspondent

Strict vigil by police ensures trouble-free Holi celebrations in the twin cities

HUBLI: People smeared "gulal" on each other's faces, took out water pistols to "shoot" the visitors. There were some who were waiting on the balcony of their houses to splash coloured water on passersby, while others cheered them.

It seemed as if "Ranga Panchami" celebrations in Hubli were never so vibrant. The strict vigil of the police, restrictions on vehicular movements, "no-man" zones and barricades did not dampen the spirit of revellers on Saturday, the concluding day of Holi celebrations.

Drenched in coloured water and smeared with colourl, they all looked the same. The young, the old, the leader, the follower, the driver, the pedestrian.... it looked as if the colours had united them.

There was so much enthusiasm in the celebrations that many policemen could not refuse when revellers wanted to smear colour on their faces. Even some Inspectors and senior police officials were not spared.

Some Muslim leaders took part in the Holi celebrations. Setting out in a group led by the former Minister Jabbar Khan Honnalli, council member Altaf Kittur and others, they visited most of the localities, greeting everybody by smearing colour on their faces.

Mr. Honnalli and the group began the celebrations by greeting Municipal Commissioner P. Manivannan.

Mayor Hanumanthappa Betageri, leader of the ruling Congress in the Council Yamanur Gudihal, BJP council member Ranga Baddi and others accompanied Mr. Honnalli.

Although the Police Commissioner had warned motorists against overspeeding, triple riding and removing silencers, that did not deter the revellers from doing so. Police caught some violators and gave a warning.

The festival saw an increase in the participation of women in the celebrations. At many places, women stood before their houses with buckets of coloured water and splashed them on the revellers.

As the day passed, the effigies of "Kamanna" were burnt one by one after the traditional puja.

The idols of "Rathi" and "Manmatha" were taken out in a procession before torching the "Kamanna".

Youths drenched in colours moved from one place to another in groups to take part in the burning of "Kamanna." The 18-foot "Kamanna" made of bamboo was torched after it was taken out in a procession.