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Mohan Bhagwat ignored DM's order to hoist national flag at a govt school

R Krishnakumar, Thiruvananthapuram, DH News Service, Aug 15 2017, 16:34 IST
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. Press Trust India File photo

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. Press Trust India File photo

Independence Day celebrations in Kerala came with a political twist after RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat hoisted the national flag at a government-aided school in Palakkad, defying a directive from the district administration.

The RSS chief unfurled the tricolour at the Karnakayamman Higher Secondary School at Moothanthara in Palakkad district at about 9 am on Tuesday. The school management, reported as close to the Sangh Parivar, is likely to face action for defying District Collector P Marykutty’s order which stipulated that organisational leaders could not hoist the national flag at a government-aided school.

The RSS chief is in Kerala on a two-day visit as the ruling CPM and the RSS-BJP are in an uneasy truce following an intense political war of words over last month’s killing of an RSS karyavahak, S N Rajesh, in Thiruvananthapuram.

The Collector’s directive was sent late Monday night to the school management, the district police chief, Tahsildar and Deputy Director of Education, pointing out that only school administrators or elected people’s representatives should hoist the national flag at schools. The directive was sent in the wake of a message from the ADGP, Intelligence, regarding possible “violation” of government directions at the event.

The RSS slammed what it called a political move and said “interpretations” of the law were invoked in an effort to stop Bhagwat from unfurling the tricolour. “The programme was finalised and announced well in advance. When they decide to send a memo restricting it like this, the agenda is clear. We’ll legally face any action in connection with the incident,” P Gopalankutty, RSS prantkaryavahak, told Deccan Herald.

The CPM said the RSS’ decision to defy the district administration’s order was part of efforts to reignite political violence. Law Minister A K Balan criticised the RSS decision to go ahead with the event despite the district administration’s order. Bhagwat, after unfurling the tricolour, addressed a gathering at the school.

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