Controversy in J&K over sanctity of state flag

Just days after controversy over release of separatist leader Masrat Alam engulfed PDP-BJP coalition in Jammu and Kashmir, another controversy has erupted over the sanctity of the state flag.

On Thursday, J&K government led by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had directed the constitutional authorities to uphold the sanctity of State Flag “at all costs” as is being done in respect of the Union Flag. The government had invoked the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir and Delhi agreement of 1952 to pass the directions.

The directive had stated that non-hoisting of the flag is an offence under the law of land. The state has a separate constitution and flag unlike other states under Article 370.

However, under pressure from alliance partner BJP, Mufti government on Friday withdrew the controversial circular asking constitutional authorities to maintain the sanctity of the state flag, saying it was not approved by a “competent authority.”

A spokesperson said administrative action will be taken after enquiry into the circumstances leading to the issuing of the earlier circular.

“The draft of the circular was not approved by the competent authority before issue of the same on March 12, and as such stands withdrawn with immediate effect,” he said.

“Appropriate action will be taken after enquiry into the circumstances leading to the issuing of this circular,” he added.

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