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Friday, Oct 18, 2019

Govt to set up panel to study attacks over national anthem in cinemas

In 2017, there were cases in which individuals alleged that they were assaulted for allegedly not standing up when the anthem was played.

india Updated: Feb 16, 2018 00:04 IST
Azaan Javaid
Azaan Javaid
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
People stand for the national anthem before the start of a movie at a theatre in Indore.
People stand for the national anthem before the start of a movie at a theatre in Indore.(HT File Photo)
         

The inter-ministerial panel appointed by the Union home ministry will study cases of individuals allegedly being attacked or harassed for not standing up during the anthem. The body will also draft guidelines for playing national anthem in cinema halls and public places, a senior ministry official said.

The ministry in January had appointed the 12-member panel to decide whether and how the anthem should be played in cinemas and public places.

A senior ministry official said the committee has now sought information from the states and the Union Territories about cases which will be studied. Observation of the committee will be added to its report likely to be submitted by July this year.

“Investigations into the cases by state police forces will continue. However, we have sought the information and will be studying each case. Our observations will be a part of the final report,” said the senior home ministry official, requesting anonymity.

Read | No need for national anthem in theatres: Centre asks SC to put order on hold

Another senior government official, privy to the committee’s work, said the second meeting of the panel is likely to take place on February 19. The cases of attack or harassment are likely to be discussed. “The committee will also consult constitutional experts, law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders such as cinema owners before coming out with its report,” the official said.

On November 30, 2016, a Supreme Court bench issued an order asking cinemas across the country to play the national anthem before the screening of films. The bench had directed that everyone present must stand up during the playing of the anthem.

In 2017, there were cases in which individuals alleged that they were assaulted for allegedly not standing up when the anthem was played.

Some of the cases include the alleged manhandling of a group of students in Chennai in January. In Mumbai, a 59-year-old man was allegedly attacked for not standing up when the anthem played during a scene in the film Dangal. There are other cases that were reported from other states.

Last month, the Supreme Court however modified its order following an affidavit filed by central government asking the apex court to reconsider its decision making it mandatory for cinema halls to play the national anthem.

First Published: Feb 15, 2018 23:48 IST

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