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MLA alleges restrictions on R-Day celebrations in Akhnoor

Chair directs for action against erring officer

Nishikant Khajuria
JAMMU, Jan 24: Following vociferous concern by various members of the House over purported restriction on flag hoisting ceremonies in connection with Republic-Day function in Akhnoor, the Chair directed Government to look into the matter and take action against the officer concerned if there was any such order.
“Take report from Deputy Commissioner Jammu and take action against the erring officer if there is any such direction restricting the Republic Day celebration functions in Akhnoor,” Deputy Speaker Nazir Gurezi, who was in the Chair, told Sajjad Lone, Minister for Social Welfare after he expressed his ignorance about such administrative directive.
The issue was raised by MLA Akhnoor Rajiv Sharma who sought attention of the Chair towards a purported directive of the administration that, according to him, has restricted flag hoisting ceremonies by general public in Akhnoor on the occasion of Republic Day on January 26. He claimed that the administration has put a ban on flag hoisting ceremonies, other than the official functions.
As the Deputy Speaker asked Sajjad Lone to make a statement over the issue in the House, NC MLA Devender Rana and State BJP president Sat Sharma also voiced their serious concern over the development.
Rana said that MLA Akhnoor had raised very important question and if there was any such direction for restriction on the Republic Day celebration, the officer concerned must be punished.
BJP MLA Sat Sharma, who was visibly very agitated over the issue, forcefully challenged that no one could stop people from hoisting National flag. “Even if there is any administrative instruction, we challenge the sane and I, as State BJP president, direct you (Rajiv Sharma) to hoist tricolour,” he said while pointing towards the MLA Akhnoor.
As the Deputy Speaker asked Sajjad Lone, who was the only senior Minister present in the House, to make a statement over the issue, the latter said that he was not aware of any such direction and would check the same.
However, Devender Rana insisted that since an MLA was making the statement on floor of the House, there should a direction from the Chair for stern action and the guilty officer must be punished if there was any such order.
Some other members of the House too joined the issue voicing their concern and pressed for action following which the Deputy Speaker again directed Sajjad Lone to take a report from Deputy Commissioner Jammu and punish the erring officer, if there was any such order restricting flag hoisting ceremony functions in Akhnoor.

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