The people of Kalaghatagi celebrated the 75th Independence Day in an unique way by taking out a procession carrying two- kilometre-long and nine-foot-wide tricolour on Sunday and created a record of sorts.
Led by former MLA of Kalaghatagi and Congress leader Santosh Lad, hundreds of students and people from different walks of life carried the two-km-long flag, raising patriotic slogans.
The procession began from Tadas Cross near Kalaghatagi, went along the national highway that passes through the town and ended at the NWKRTC Depot. Apart from Mr. Lad, several Congress leaders and elders from Kalaghatagi and Alnavar took part in it.
Mr. Lad, who had organised the event, told The Hindu that many youth voluntarily participated and carried the flag. All along the stretch, the slogans of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ reverberated in the air, he said.
A team of weavers led by Elumalai from K.R. Market in Bengaluru, took nearly a week to get the flag ready. It was rolled up into a big bundle and it weighed over 4 quintals. The production and transportation of the tricolour cost around ₹5 lakh and was borne by Mr. Lad, who wanted to make the 75th Independence Day celebration a memorable one. The flag was brought from Bengaluru to Kalaghatagi in a truck and then shifted to a tractor. On Sunday, Mr. Lad and others slowly unrolled the flag from the tractor into the hands of the participants, who carried it along the NH.
The requirement to carry the long flag was around 1,200 people. But people came in large numbers voluntarily to participate in the event, Anand Kalal, an aide of Mr. Lad said.
Within hours of the procession being taken out, the police registered a case against 13 Congress workers for violation of COVID-19 protocol. The Kalaghatagi police registered the case based on a complaint by the taluk administration.
The case pertains to violating the ban on taking out rallies on account of COVID-19-induced restrictions. In the complaint it was mentioned that despite the ban, the tricolour rally was organised wherein thousands participated without following COVID-19-appropriate behaviour. However, the case doesn’t mention Mr. Lad.