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J-K flag removed from civil secretariat in Srinagar

Last updated on: August 25, 2019 19:45 IST

Many Kashmiris termed the removing of the state flag as a “saddest moment for the J&K’s history.”

Umar Ganie/Rediff.com reports from Srinagar. 

IMAGE: The Indian national flag flies alone atop the civil secretariat in Srinagar as Jammu and Kashmir flag has been removed after abrogation of the provision of Article 370. Photograph: S Irfan/PTI Photo

The flag of Jammu and Kashmir which used to fly along with the tricolour was removed from the civil secretariat in Srinagar on Sunday, three weeks after the Narendra Modi government revoked Article 370 provisions which granted special status to the state.

Under Article 370, Jammu and Kashmir was permitted to have its own flag, which was red in colour with three equidistant white vertical strips and a white plough.

The flag, which was hoisted along with the tricolour every day atop the civil secretariat, the seat of the government, was supposed to be removed on October 31 when the law bifurcating Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories -- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh -- will come into effect.

However, on Sunday morning, only the tricolour was hoisted on the secretariat building, the officials said.

 

They said the flag will be removed from other government buildings as well.

The flag was adopted by state constituent assembly on June 7, 1952.

The three stripes represented the state's three regions of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.

Many Kashmiris termed the removing of the state flag as a “saddest moment for the J&K’s history.”

“This is a saddest day of my life,” said Ghulam Nabi, who was walking outside the secretariat, when the flag was downed by the secretariat employees.

An elderly Mohammad Amin Dar told Rediff.com that today the state lost everything and that the move to remove the state flag shows that New Delhi is serious in integrating the state with the Union of India.

He said that he has witnessed many historic moments including the 1971 war and many other things as he has crossed 80 years of age.

“Today is a crucial time and I believe history is going to be changed. The flag is removed but the Kashmir issue remains alive. Let's see what happens,” he said.

IMAGE: Till Sunday, the Jammu and Kashmir flag used to fly along with the tricolour. Photograph: Umar Ganie/Rediff.com

A group of young boys, travelling in a private car, halted for a while and takes pictures with their mobile phones outside the secretariat gate.

“Let them do what they want to. Kashmir issue is a political issue and has to be resolved politically. There is an anger among the people. Shops are closed and there is no public transport on roads,” they said.

Markets were remain shut in the Kashmir since August 5, when the Centre abrogated Article 370 provisions in the Constitution which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir for residency and government jobs.

Parliament approved the resolution in this regard and also passed the bill on the bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories.

Later on August 9, President Ram Nath Kovind gave assent to the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, bifurcating the two Union Territories, which will come into existence on October 31.

Hundreds of activists and politicians, including former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti have been arrested in Srinagar.

Restrictions were eased in most areas of Kashmir with barricades being lifted and the movement of people and traffic increasing gradually.

However mobile services and internet remain suspended for the 21st day on Sunday.

Landline telephone services have been restored at most places of Uptown Srinagar.

However, Landline services continue to be suspended in several areas, including in Srinagar’s commercial hub of Lal Chowk and Press Enclave.

With inputs from PTI

Umar Ganie in Srinagar
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