Mumbai: Maharashtra celebrated the 71st Independence Day with patriotic fervour, though the celebrations on Tuesday were partly marred due to sudden heavy rains that lashed parts of the state, including Mumbai and coastal Konkan.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis unfurled the national tricolour at his residence and near Mantralaya and took the salute, while his ministerial colleagues attended flag-hoisting ceremonies in various districts across the state.
Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu Governor C.V. Rao this year spent the day in Chennai where he was scheduled to take part in various I-Day functions, a Raj Bhavan official said.
Solemn flag-hoisting functions were organised at the Bombay High Court, and headquarters of the Central Railway, Western Railway and the Konkan Railway.
Mumbai Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar hoisted the tricolor at the BMC headquarters in the presence of Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta and other top officials and employees.
On the occasion, the Mayor inaugurated a special mural gifted by Argentina to adorn the entrance of the Humboldt Penguins enclosure. Acting Consul-General of Argentina Alejandra Zothner Meyer, Deputy Consul-General Andrea Alba Gonzalez and renowned mural artist Pablo Ramirez Arnol were present on the occasion.
There were colourful I-Day functions organised by the armed forces stationed in Mumbai, various airlines and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport.
Abhinav Deshmukh, Superintendent of Police, Gadchiroli -- the hotbed of Maoist activities in the state -- paid homage to 191 police personnel who laid down their lives while protecting democracy in the Naxal-hit regions of eastern Maharashtra.
At the Gadchiroli Collectorate, Guardian Minister Raje A. Atram hoisted the tricolor and honoured brave police personnel fighting the Maoists in the district.
Maharashtra Congress President Ashok Chavan and Mumbai Congress President Sanjay Nirupam also hoisted the tricolour at functions in the city and the party organised I-Day functions in different parts of the state.
In a unique event, the Shanmukhananda Fine Arts Sabha honoured five war widows and father of one war hero from Maharashtra at the hands of Lt. Gen. Vishwambar Singh, GOC, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa and an exhibition was organised at Shanmukhananda Hall.
The widows -- Reshma Davale, Anjana Balaji, Sunita Shamrao Mane, Ujjwala Jadhav and Misha Ghadge -- and Savan Mane, father of a soldier killed in action, were presented with a shawl, a lamp, a statute of Goddess Mahalakshmi and a cheque of Rs 200,000 each.
Besides Mumbai, a variety of special events to mark I-Day were held all over the state, including Parivartak, a heritage walk organised by an NGO Awestrich's historian Siddhartha Fondekar, covering important landmarks linked with the independence struggle in south Mumbai, and a peace march to support transgenders' rights organised by Akhil Kinner Seva Samiti between Girgaum Chowpatty and August Kranti Maidan.
The national tricolour was also hoisted and the national anthem sung in schools, colleges, housing complexes, various state and central government offices, private companies, district collectorates, villages, social and cultural organisations, airlines, corporates and others.