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In PHOTOS: I-Day celebrations at Delhi's Red Fort

Last updated on: August 15, 2012 12:59 IST

In PHOTOS: I-Day celebrations at Delhi's Red Fort

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A pleasant morning with clear sky lifted the patriotic spirits of Delhiites on Wednesday as they enthusiastically turned up in large numbers to celebrate the country's 66th Independence Day.

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Image: Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh addresses the nation on the occasion of 66th Independence Day from the ramparts of Red Fort in Delhi
Photographs: Press Information Bureau

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I-Day celebrations at Delhi's Red Fort

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The clouds gave way to a brighter sky and the Sun rose from its slumber at around 7.15 am as the celebration was reaching its peak at the majestic Red Fort in New Delhi, in sharp contrast to last year when it was marred by heavy downpour.


Image: Schoolchildren take part in the Independence Day celebrations in front of the historic Red For
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters
Tags: New Delhi , Sun

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I-Day celebrations at Delhi's Red Fort

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Unprecedented security cover, that included tight vigil by gun-totting security personnel in and around the venue, did not dampen the spirits of the people.


Image: Tricolour balloons are released in the sky after PM's I-Day speech
Photographs: Press Information Bureau
Tags: Delhi

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I-Day celebrations at Delhi's Red Fort

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At 7.20 am, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's cavalcade reached the Lahore Gate where he was received by Defence Minister A K Antony, Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju and Defence Secretary Shashikant Sharma.

The defence secretary introduced the General Officer Commanding, Delhi Area, Lt. General Vijay Kumar Pillai, to the PM.


Image: Dr Singh inspecting the Guard of Honour at Red Fort
Photographs: Press Information Bureau

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I-Day celebrations at Delhi's Red Fort

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Then Dr Singh, accompanied by the General Officer Commanding, Delhi Area, Manvendra Singh, proceeded towards the saluting base where he unfurled the Tricolour from a closed enclosure.


Image: PM and his wife Gursharan Kaur being received by Defence Ministeri A K Antony on his arrival at Red Fort
Photographs: Press Information Bureau

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I-Day celebrations at Delhi's Red Fort

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There were no rains this time and the weather was pleasant, making the atmosphere more pleasant as school children jostled with each other to catch a glimpse of Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur.


Image: Children in tricolour formation at the Red Fort
Photographs: Press Information Bureau

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I-Day celebrations at Delhi's Red Fort

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Dressed in track suits, about 5,000 children from several schools of the national capital attended the celebrations which saw the participation of leaders like Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader L K Advani among others.


Image: PM receives the Guard of Honour from the saluting dias at Red Fort
Photographs: Press Information Bureau

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I-Day celebrations at Delhi's Red Fort

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As soon as the cavalcade of the PM arrived at the venue, the children got up from their seats and waved excitedly at him.

The children cheered when a large number of balloons were released in the sky at the end of the function to signal the spirit of true freedom.


Image: Dr Singh addresses the nation from a bullet-proof enclosure as national flags flutter at the historic Red Fort during Independence Day celebrations in Delhi
Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters
Tags: Delhi

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I-Day celebrations at Delhi's Red Fort

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Gun-totting security personnel were all over the Red Fort keeping a tight vigil on the area to thwart any untoward incident.

Ankita, 11, who came to the venue at around 4.30 am, said she was "very much" excited to be part of the Independence Day celebrations and was "very lucky" to see the prime minister and other leaders.


Image: Dr Manmohan Singh arrives at Red Fort to address the Nation on the occasion of 66th Independence Day
Photographs: Press Information Bureau
Tags: Delhi , Ankita

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I-Day celebrations at Delhi's Red Fort

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"I have been excited about this for over a month. Though I had to get up as early as 2 am. I am overwhelmed to be here to be part of the ceremony," she said.


Image: -People leave the after the PM's I-Day speech
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters
Tags: Delhi

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