J&K: Students, shopkeepers told to pay Rs 20 for flag hoisting campaign in Anantnag, Chadoora
The circular was withdrawn in Anantnag after social media backlash but is still in force in Budgam district’s Chadoora.
The Chadoora administration in Jammu and Kashmir’s Budgam and the authorities in Anantnag district have issued circulars in schools, asking students and teachers to deposit Rs 20 each as part of a countrywide flag-hoisting campaign.
While the Anantnag district has withdrawn the circular, it is still in force in Chadoora.
The circulars had been issued as part of a the “Har Ghar Jhanda” – tricolour in every house – campaign that seeks to encourage citizens to hoist the national flag on August 15, reported The Indian Express.
In Anantnag’s Bijbehara town, shopkeepers were also directed to pay Rs 20 for the initiative. Videos on social media showed announcement being made warning shopkeepers of action if they do not pay the amount.
In a tweet, Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti wrote that the move made it seem like “Kashmir was an enemy territory that needs to be captured”.
“Patriotism comes naturally and can’t be imposed,” she wrote.
People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration spokesperson MY Tarigami noted that Kashmir Divisional Commissioner Pandurang K Pole had said that depositing for the initiative is voluntary.
“Whose writ runs, I wonder?” the former Communist Party of India (Marxist) MLA wrote on Twitter.
Deputy Commissioner of Anantnag district, where the circular has been withdrawn, Piyush Singla told The Indian Express that the announcement was made without his permission and that the announcer has been suspended.
He reiterated Pole’s statement that it is a voluntary campaign.