Republic Day celebrations in Bihar got off to an early start on Friday with hundreds of people gathering at the historic Gandhi Maidan in Patna to watch Governor RS Gavai unfurl the national flag, with the shadow of Maoist violence looming large.
The function at the Gandhi Maidan was also attended by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi and other ministers.
The government has sounded a red alert in the wake of intelligence reports that the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist could attack official celebrations.
Police have alerted all stations and heavy security arrangements are being made to ensure that the day passes without mishap, Bihar police chief AR Sinha said on Thursday.
In the past, Maoists have targeted railways, government buildings and the police on the day.