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Friday, Sep 20, 2019

RSS chief Bhagwat hoists Indian flag in Kerala school, defies collector’s order

A school in Kerala’s Palakkad district where RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat hoisted the tri colour on Independence Day, now faces police action for ignoring the collector’s order not to let Bhagwat do so.

india Updated: Aug 16, 2017 00:10 IST
Ramesh Babu
Ramesh Babu
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram 
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat unfurls the national flag at a school on the occasion of 71st Independence Day, in Palakkad on Tuesday.
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat unfurls the national flag at a school on the occasion of 71st Independence Day, in Palakkad on Tuesday.(PTI)

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat unfurled the tricolour at a school in Kerala’s Palakkad district on Independence Day, flouting an order of the district administration banning him from doing it.

Palakkad district collector Mary Kutty has directed the police to register a case against the head master of Karnakiamman Higher Secondary School, who flouted the district administration’s warning.

It was not immediately known whether the district administration will book the RSS chief also.

Kutty had on Monday night restrained the school from allowing Bhagwat to hoist the flag, saying it was not proper for a political leader to hoist the national flag in a government-aided school.

The collector said the head teacher or a students’ representative of the school can unfurl the flag.

The order was delivered to the school by a tehsildar and deputy superintendent of police, hours before the 9 am function.

The school on the outskirts of Palakkad town had announced its plan a couple of days back and all arrangements were made for the function.

Slamming the RSS chief for “insulting the national flag”, Kerala’s culture Minister A K Balan said the government will explore legal options against the school and the saffron outfit.

“The RSS chief has insulted the national flag. Though he was restrained from hoisting the flag in a government-aided school, he went ahead with the plan, flouting all norms. It shows the organisation’s attitude towards existing laws,” he said.

The RSS dubbed the district administration’s move highly repressive and undemocratic. “We condemn such brazen attempts by the CPI(M)-led government to deny a citizen his right of celebrating Independence Day and its continuous attempts to poison the state with divisive politics,” a statement issued by senior leader Manmohan Vaidya said.

The BJP criticised the move to “belittle” the RSS chief. “It shows the intolerance of CPI(M)-led government. Nobody can browbeat us so easily,” party general secretary K Surendran said in his Facebook post while lauding the school for not bowing to pressure.

Bhagwat is visiting the state in the wake recurring clashes between Left cadres and right-wing workers. The Centre had rushed Union minister Arun Jaitley to the state earlier this month after an RSS worker was stabbed to death in the state capital. The latest political killing had a triggered a nationwide debate, as both the outfits blamed each other.

First Published: Aug 15, 2017 09:23 IST