Celebrations are taking place across India marking the 60th anniversary of the country’s independence. As the ceremonies began a huge security operation swung into action to thwart possible attacks by militants. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh got events underway with a speech from Delhi’s historic Red Fort, which had been sealed off to the public. Throughout the city, tens of thousands of police and soldiers were posted to guard key buildings.
Independence Day in India is traditionally marked by violent attacks from separatist militants or Maoist rebels. Patrols and surveillance have been intensified in the remote northeast region of Assam, where there has been unrest after the recent killing of Hindi speakers.
Kashmiri separatists, in turn, have called for a general strike to be held today, labelling the celebrations as “meaningless” until Kashmir is freed from Indian rule. While in the east of the country, Maoist insurgents have distributed leaflets in towns and villages urging locals to boycott the events.