New Delhi, Aug 15: Amidst impregnable security, the 62nd Independence Day celebrations across the country largely passed off peacefully on Friday, Aug 15. In the wake of recent serial blasts in Bangalore and Ahmedabad, elaborate security arrangements were made across the country.
Security forces were placed on high alert to prevent possible attacks from separatist militants and Maoist rebels. Extra security personnel were deployed in sensitive areas, especially in the capital. trict vigil was maintained at crowded and sensitive places like airports, railway stations, shopping malls and cinema halls in view of the threat perception from terrorist outfits.Barricades were set up on roads and police frisked people going into in malls and checked bags.
Insurgent -hit Tripura was also placed under a security blanket, even as State Chief Minister Manik Sarkar inspected a guard of honour and a parade of the armed forces at the Assam Rifles Parade Ground in Agartala. On the occasion, he also gave away the President's Commemoration disk to security personnel.
Different paramilitary forces, state police and NCC cadets participated in the parade, which was followed by a colourful cultural programme. Despite the militant threat, thousands of people gathered to participate in the celebration.
Inspite of the total boycott of the celebrations and a general strike by the four major militant outfits, including the banned ULFA of the North East, Manipur, celebrated I-Day at the 1st Manipur Rifles Parade Ground, where Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh hoisted the national Tri-colour.
Twenty-four contingents, schools children, NCC cadets and paramilitary security forces participated in the march past.
Similar celebrations were held in Bihar, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh. In violence-hit Jammu and Kashmir,Governor N N Vohra took the salute at the main function at the Bakshi Stadium in Srinagar.
"We have to rise above considerations of religion and region to consolidate the gains of peace and progress we have achieved in the last 18 years," Vohra said in his address before taking the salute at a march past by contingents drawn from the armed forces and the paramilitary and police forces.
Security was extremely tight in Srinagar, to the extent that the cultural pageant that normally follows the march past was dispensed with. A contingent of students from the Police Public School provided the token civilian component at the parade.
Independence Day celebrations were also held at Baramullah, Ganderbal, Bandipora, Phulgam, Badgam, Kupwara, Anantnag and Shopian, official sources said.
Despite rains, people in Jammu came onto the streets, with umbrellas in their hands and chanting "Bharat Mata ki jai", to hoist the tricolour.
The Shri Amarnath Sangarsh Samiti, which is spearheading the 48-day long agitation over the land transfer row, organised a parallel Independence Day celebration at the Mubarak-Mandi complex.
Meanwhile, the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) has called a general strike today.
"We appeal to people to observe August 15 as a black day and stay away from Indian functions," The APHC said in a statement.
Meanwhile politicians of the nation too celebrated Independence day with frevour. The ruling Congress party as well as the main Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) celebrated the country's 62nd Independence Day on Friday. At the Congress headquarters in Delhi, party President Sonia Gandhi unfurled the tricolour.
After addressing the nation from the ramparts of historic Red Fort to mark the Independence Day, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh attended the celebrations.
BJP members gathered at the residence of Leader of Opposition and senior party leader L K Advani for the celebrations. Advani said to the media that the country needed to undo the disgrace that has been brought upon it by the controversial land shrine row in which at least 27 people have been killed since June.