School principal arrested for not hoisting national flag in Assam

On Friday, the Assam Police arrested James Xavier, principal of Saint Eugene School in a village about 8 kilometres from the district headquarters Morigaon, after complaints that the school did not have the flag hoisting ceremony on Independence Day.

india Updated: Aug 19, 2018 00:08 IST
Sadiq Naqvi
Sadiq Naqvi
Hindustan Times, Guwahati
Assam,Saint Eugene School,Independence Day
An elderly Indian man buys Indian tricolor flag from a roadside vendor in Gauhati, India, Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018. India won independence from British colonialists in 1947.(AP Photo)

The principal of a missionary-run school in central Assam was arrested Friday for not hoisting the national flag on Independence Day, police said on Saturday.

The school did not even pay heed to the state government’s directive to observe seven days of national mourning following the death of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee during which the national flag is to be flown at half mast.

On Friday, the Assam Police arrested James Xavier, principal of Saint Eugene School in a village about 8 kilometres from the district headquarters Morigaon, after complaints that the school did not have the flag hoisting ceremony on Independence Day.

“We received complaints from general public that no flag was hoisted,” said Mrinmoy Goswami, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Morigaon. Saint Eugene, a missionary-run school from kindergarten to class six, has about 270 students.

A case was registered under Section 2 of the Prevention of Insult to National Honour (Amendment) Act 2005. However, since it is a bailable offence, the 34-year-old principal was released.

“It is an insult to the nation. All the educational institutions have to hoist the flag,” Goswami said.

Police said Xavier claimed it was a mistake. He has been again called for further questioning on Sunday.

First Published: Aug 18, 2018 12:05 IST