How is unfurling national flag a crime in J&K? Sena asks Centre

In an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamana, the Shiv Sena called it a defeat of the BJP-led government at the Centre
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Representational Image.
Updated on Oct 28, 2020 01:54 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Mumbai | BySwapnil Rawal

Maharashtra’s ruling Shiv Sena on Wednesday slammed the Centre while asking it what has changed in Jammu & Kashmir after the end to the region’s special status that the Indian flag cannot be hoisted in the Union Territory. In an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamana, the Shiv Sena called it a defeat of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led (BJP) government at the Centre.

The editorial comes in the backdrop of former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti’s statement on Friday that the members of her party would not hoist the Indian tricolour unless they are allowed to raise the flag of Jammu & Kashmir. Constitution’s Article 370, which was nullified last year to strip Jammu & Kashmir of its special status, provided for a separate flag for the erstwhile state.

Also read | Shiv Sena takes potshots at PM Narendra Modi’s address to nation, calls it ‘best in last 7-8 months’

“There is President’s rule in Kashmir, meaning Delhi controls it. But unfurling the tricolour has become a crime. Then what has changed after repealing Article 370?... The nation wants to know,” the editorial said.

The editorial added the situation in Kashmir remains the same it was before the nullification. “The situation in Kashmir still has not changed. The improvements that seem are merely cosmetic,” it added.

The editorial criticised Mufti for her statement. It called another former chief minister Farooq Abdullah’s purported comment that they will seek China’s help to restore Article 370 treasonous.

Abdullah’s son, Omar Abdullah, has maintained his father’s comments were distorted and he never said they will seek China’s help.

The Sena, which parted ways with the BJP last year to form the government in Maharashtra with Congress’s and Nationalist Congress Party’s help, accused Mufti and Farooq Abdullah of speaking the separatists’ language. “...opponents in Kashmir have come together and they have resolved to bring back Article 370,” the editorial said, referring to Mufti, Abdullah and other political forces who have joined hands in Kashmir against the changes to the region’s constitutional status.

Sena leader and Saamana executive editor Sanjay Raut asked the Centre to take action against Abdullah and Mufti, who were among thousands of people detained last year to stem protests against the nullification of Constitution’s Article 370. “If Mehbooba Mufti, Farooq Abdullah and others want to impose Article 370 in Kashmir with help of China, then the central government should take strict steps. If any person who wants to unfurl tricolour in Kashmir is stopped, then I consider it as treason.”

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Monday, November 29, 2021