New Delhi, Aug 15 : The hundreds of school students who cheered Narendra Modi for over an hour at the Red Fort Friday were pleasantly surprised when the prime minister met them before leaving the venue. As soon as Modi’s cavalcade of black BMWs reached the front courtyard of the Red Fort, the excited children and even some of their teachers cheered him, standing on their chairs for a glimpse of the prime minister.

On his way out, Modi made sure to reward his young admirers by getting out of his sedan to meet them. Modi shook hands and interacted with the children who were dressed in saffron, green and white – the Indian tricolour – and blue for a few minutes.  Such was the excitement that children and teachers from other enclosures in the ground jumped barriers and climbed atop chairs and even on each other’s shoulders to get a closer look.

The Special Protection Group, which provides security to the prime minister, and police had a tough time controlling the overjoyed children. The students from government schools, aged 10-16 years, had reached the ground hours before the event. They were seated bang opposite the podium from where the Modi gave his maiden Red Fort speech. As Friday is India’s 68th Independence Day, those dressed in saffron, green and white depicted the number 68. Those in blue dresses formed the outline.