Patriotic songs reverberated across the state as the tricolour was unfurled at government offices and education institutions."
Kolkata, Aug 15 - Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee unfurled the tricolour at the Indira Gandhi Sarani and witnessed a colourful parade marked by tableaux depicting West Bengal's rich cultural heritage as the state Friday celebrated India's 68th Independence Day.
The occasion was marked by a grand parade by personnel of the Kolkata Police, the Rapid Action Force and Eastern Frontier Rifles as well as school children.
Banerjee conferred the chief minister's medal upon six police officers, including city Police Commissioner Surajit Kar Purakayastha.
The other police officers to get the award were Bidhannagar Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar, Inspector General of Police (Western Zone) Siddh Nath Gupta, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central Division) Devendra Prakash Singh, Superintendent of Police, Burdwan, S.M.H. Meerza and Superintendent of Police, West Midnapore, Bharati Ghosh.
The departments of tourism, information and cultural affairs, women and social welfare and labour brought out colourful tableaux as a helicopter showered flower petals.
Apart from these, a tableau of Kanyashree Prakalpa, a flagship project for the girl child which has been represented at the Girls Summit 2014 in Britain, also participated.
The celebrations started at midnight with Banerjee, also the Trinamool Congress supremo, celebrating Freedom at Midnight as people came out in the streets and burst firecrackers and distributed sweets.
I salute our martyrs, our soldiers, our leaders and our countrymen who fought gallantly for our country's freedom. Let's stand committed to our great country and to all my brothers and sisters, Banerjee said in her address.
Governor K.N. Tripathi paid floral tributes to the Father of the Nation at the Gandhi Ghat in Barrackpore and spun the charkha.
Patriotic songs reverberated across the state as the tricolour was unfurled at government offices and education institutions.
Elaborate security arrangements, including setting up of check-posts at strategic locations, have been made in and around the city.