Prime Minister Narendra Modi unfurled the national flag at the Red Fort here on Wednesday on the occasion of India’s 72nd Independence Day.

Dressed in a white kurta and a saffron safa, he unfurled the flag amid a 21-gun salute.

Earlier, he reviewed a tri-services guard of honour, after being received at the Lahori Gate of Red Fort by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre and Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra.

This is Modi’s fifth speech at the Red Fort since he became the Prime Minister.

Earlier in the day, he greeted the people on the occasion of Independence Day. “Independence Day greetings to the people of India. Jai Hind!” Modi said in a tweet.

The speech is being streamed live on Google, YouTube and Narendra Modi app.

Modi reached Rajghat and paid floral tribute to Mahatma Gandhi before heading to the Red Fort to hoist the national flag.

Meanwhile, in the wake of terror alerts, a cordon of tight security, including NSG snipers, elite SWAT commandos, kite catchers, has been thrown around the Red Fort.

According to a senior officer, they had received inputs about the possibility of three men from Jaish-e-Mohammad being present in the national capital to carry out terror attacks, said a PTI report.

The police are also on high alert in the wake of an attack on JNU student leader Umar Khalid in the Lutyens’ Delhi area on August 13 and a terror attack in the UK on Tuesday, where a man drove a car at high speed and ploughed into several pedestrians, injuring three people, a senior police officer said.

While nearly 70,000 Delhi Police personnel are guarding the national capital, close to 10,000 policemen have been deployed in the Red Fort.

Delhi Police personnel have been specifically asked to keep an eye on the sky to ensure that no stray kites are seen in the areas around the Red Fort.

Last year, a black kite had landed below the podium when the Prime Minister was addressing the nation on Independence Day. Kite-catchers have been deployed even as kite-flying has been restricted in the area till 11 am.

Over 500 CCTV cameras have been installed on the routes leading to the Red Fort with over 200 cameras at the fort. The police said the footage was being monitored round the clock.

This time, 36 women personnel of the Delhi Police Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) unit are also involved in guarding the venue with their male counterparts.

At the Red Fort, a special team of NSG snipers and commandos will form the inner layer of the security cordon, while anti-aircraft guns have been deployed to thwart any aerial intrusion by objects like drones and projectiles, senior police officials said.

Delhi Police have already prohibited aerial activities, including para-gliding, flying UAVs and hot air balloons, across the city.

According to a statement by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, train services will run as usual. However, stations like Lal Quila, Jama Masjid, Delhi Gate and ITO will have restrictions on entry and exit during the ceremony owing to security considerations.

Parking will not be available at the stations till 2 pm tomorrow in view of the security measures, the DMRC said.

(With agency inputs)