J&K admn ‘forcing’ people to participate in Har Ghar Tiranga campaign: Mehbooba Mufti
Speaking about a recent viral video Mufti said, he manner in which the Jammu and Kashmir administration is forcing people to pay for the national flag was as if Kashmir is an enemy territory
Prominent politicians from the region including Mehbooba Mufti and MY Tarigami on Sunday raised questions over the collection of money by the UT administration for the Har Ghar Tiranga campaign after traders and shop owners in southern Kashmir were allegedly warned of action for refusing to deposit money for the tricolours.
People’s Democratic Party president, Mufti and Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader, Tarigami, both shared videos on social media, wherein loudspeakers announcements were being purportedly made in southern Kashmir’s Bijbehara town asking the shopkeepers to deposit ₹20 each for the tricolours till Monday noon.
“For the government’s Har Ghar Tiranga programme, every shopkeeper has to pay ₹20. All are requested by the district administration, Anantnag, to deposit the money till Monday 12 pm in the office where they get licences for trade. Those not depositing the money may face action. So to save yourself (from the hassle), you should complete this formality and pay the money,” the announcer can be heard saying in the video.
Mufti castigated the administration saying patriotism could not be imposed.
“The manner in which the Jammu and Kashmir administration is forcing students, shopkeepers and employees to pay for the national flag to hoist it is as if Kashmir is an enemy territory that needs to be captured. Patriotism comes naturally & can’t be imposed,” she said in a tweet.
Spokesperson of People Alliance for Gupkar Declaration and CPI(M) leader Tarigami questioned the claims of the administration that the campaign was voluntary.
“Div Com, Kashmir has said that #HarGharTiranga is a voluntary initiative. But,on the other hand, local administration makes announcements on loudhailers asking traders to deposit ₹20 to buy Tiranga,and non-compliance may result in action. Whose writ runs, I wonder?,” Tarigami said in a tweet.
Announcement made in improper way: admn
Speaking about the same with HT, Kashmir divisional commissioner (DC) Pandurang K Pole said the announcement seeking the contribution was made in an improper way by a lower rung employee, “We are checking whether it was a mistake or mischief. I have asked the district administration of Anantnag to suspend the employee and call an inquiry.”
“The Har Ghar Tiranga campaign does not mean that a flag should be raised in every household. It means willfully whoever wants should do so,” the DC said.
Notably, the Jammu and Kashmir Teachers’ Forum, had on Saturday alleged that teachers and students are being forced to contribute money to buy tricolours as part of the Har Ghar Tiranga campaign across Kashmir.
The DC had at the time clarified that there was no compulsion to contribute to the Har Ghar Tiranga movement. “It is a totally voluntary movement. There is no compulsion or insistence for anybody,” he had said.
Expenses to be borne by households: commissioner secy to govt
Earlier this month, a letter by commissioner secretary to government, rural development department, Mandeep Kaur to deputy commissioners and district magistrates had said that the expenses for Har Ghar Tiranga programme for purchase and hoisting of flags has to be borne by the household owners.
“Cost per flag comes out to be ₹20 plus transportation charges. You are requested to constitute committees, particularly involving the education department, to ensure collection from every student, both of schools and colleges, departmental employees, socio cultural organisations, political parties, red cross, NCC/NSS cadets to make it a mass movement. No house should remain untouched or uncovered,” Kaur had said