Muslims protest in Kashmir on India's independence day
Today marks India's Independence Day from British rule, and thousands of Muslims protested today about New Delhi's rule in Kashmir, with some even burning the national flag.
Srinagar and other parts of the Muslim-majority Kashmir valley have recently been rocked by some of the biggest protests since an anti-India insurgency erupted in 1989.
Street battles this week have left at least 22 dead -- all of them Muslim youths -- and hundreds injured in police firings.
On Friday, thousands of Muslim separatists -- whose leaders called for a boycott of India's independence celebrations -- waved black flags as they marched through Srinagar, chanting "We want freedom" and "Kashmir is ours".
Thousands of worshippers emerged from the city's main mosque after Friday prayers and burnt several Indian flags, witnesses said.
The rally came despite tight security in the city, where a curfew was lifted after four days. A general strike emptied roads and closed shops.
There were no reports of disruption to official functions marking India's 1947 independence, which sowed the seeds of the Kashmir dispute.
This unrest happened because of an incident in June when the Kashmir government decided to donate land to a Hindu shrine trust. The decision was later reversed, which angered Hindus who mostly live in that area.
Hindu extremists then began blocking the only road link to the Kashmir valley, sparking a fresh wave of protests in Muslim areas.
Many separatist groups have declared this day to be a blank day, and they carried black flags to showcase that.
But the BBC's Altaf Hussain in Srinagar says that there were no reports of disruption in functions organised by the government to celebrate the occasion.
The main ceremony was held at the Bakhshi Stadium in Srinagar where the state Governor, NN Vohra, took the salute at a march-past by the police and paramilitary soldiers.
Most residents of India, not involved in these protests seemed to have just stayed away from the celebrations altogether.
Most of the media reports differ as well on whether this is India's 61st Independence Day, or the 62nd.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh promised to tackle inflation and terrorism, and also to launch the nation's first lunar mission, to mark the celebration of the day.
Following recent bomb attacks in Bangalore and Ahmedabad and violent protests in northern Kashmir, thousands of security personnels surrounded the historic Red Fort where Singh unfurled the national flag to a 21-gun salute before addressing the nation.
Speaking on the occasion, Singh said the present government, when it came to power, had no promises to make but "promises to keep."
Singh just wants peace and prosperity to prevail.