Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo, Senior BJP and Kashmiri Pandit leader raised the issue of flag hoisting with DGP Jammu and Kashmir Dilbagh Singh.
Chrungoo told DGP that on 26t October 2020, the Accession Day, a group of political activists from Kupwara turned up at the historic Lal Chowk, Srinagar with the intent to hoist the National Flag, Tricolour there. “As it was a very special day, the day of accession, which has been recognized by the government as a public holiday as well, the hoisting of the national flag was no offence regardless of the place or venue in the Union Territory,” Chrungoo said.
He said that the police contingent present in the area not only “dissuaded them from doing so but also put the members of the group under detention, which is quite astonishing.”
He said that instead the police present there should have facilitated the flag hoisting and also provided the group the necessary security required on the venue.
Chrungoo further said that similarly, a young man who wanted to hoist the national flag atop PDP office at Gandhinagar, Jammu (the complex being a government property) was also badly treated by the police stationed thereat and disallowed him to hoist the flag.
“The national flag hoisting by a citizen constitutes not only a national duty but also a fundamental right for any citizen of the country. In case, the police or law enforcing authorities take measures to stop a citizen from hoisting the national flag peacefully anywhere in the Union Territory, it comprises infringing one's rights. The police is duty bound to protect him or her rather stopping the citizen from doing so,” he said, and added, “The role of the police in this connection raised stark questions in the changed socio-political context when the police said that it was done to maintain law and order. Does hoisting of the national flag breach law and order in the UT? The argument given is not only weak but also absurd”
Chrungoo said that it is time for the administration to take a clear view in this regard and issue fresh guidelines, otherwise it sends a bad/wrong message which obviously will deserve condemnation by all.
“I request that this position may be reviewed keeping in view the situation, arguments and logic in this context,” he said.