'Hoist state flag, celebrate own Republic Day' | india | Hindustan Times
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'Hoist state flag, celebrate own Republic Day'

india Updated: Dec 11, 2013 17:54 IST
Toufiq Rashid

A private citizen in Kashmir has filed a petition in the state high court, seeking directions to the government to celebrate the state's own Republic Day, besides the Republic Day of India.

The petition also seeks directions that all constitutional authorities must hoist the state flag in Jammu and Kashmir. This is the only state in the country which has its own constitution and flag. The flag is hoisted alongside the tricolour at civil secretariat and other places, as the state has a special status under Article 370 in the Indian constitution.

Article 370 was recently in news after Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi asked for a debate on it in a public rally in the state's winter capital Jammu.

In his petition, Abdul Qayoom Khan, a former chief conservator of forests, has appealed that the government be asked to declare November 17 as the Republic Day of Jammu and Kashmir.

"The petition was filed on Tuesday and will be listed for hearing soon," said Zafar Shah, Qayoom's lawyer and constitutional expert.

The petition says that in 1956, the state's Constituent Assembly passed a resolution for its own dissolution, having already adopted a constitution for the state.

"All the constitutional authorities are guilty of insulting the state constitution by not holding flag-hoisting ceremonies on November 17," Shah added.

In the petition, Khan has argued that all the constitutional authorities in the state have been created by the state's own constitution, and were hence bound to show respect and loyalty to the constitution.

The petition also insisted that non-hoisting of the state flag was due to political reasons, according to a local news agency.

"The authority and sanctity of the state constitution and the flag is being undermined," the petitioner has said.