2 men beaten up for waving tricolour at Lal chowk

Police said that two people who are non-state residents made an abortive bid to raise tricolour but were whisked away.

Lal Chowk, the hub of commerce in Srinagar, was on Tuesday filled with tension for some time as two men suspected to be from New Delhi took out tricolour to wave it with hundreds of pedestrians looking on in the shadow of Ghanta Ghar (clock tower).

The duo, in their mid-40s and believed to be from New Delhi, were taken away by the police but only after the two were beaten up by some people who objected to their flag-raising attempt. To the sound of pro-Pakistan and pro-freedom slogans raised by the people on the spot, the police left the scene with the two. 

Police said that two people who are non-state residents made an abortive bid to raise tricolour but were whisked away.

However, a witness said the police reached the spot a few minutes late as the duo was already thrashed by the people including youth amid pro-Pakistan and pro-Azadi slogans. The incident happened when entire Kashmir including the summer capital Srinagar is on a high alert for I-Day. 

The witness said that two unidentified people carrying tricolour tried to climb the clock tower in a bid to unfurl the flag. “They were however, spotted by the locals and youth, who stopped them and thrashed them. The youth raised slogans in favour of Pakistan and freedom,” he said. A large number of police men whisked away the duo and bundled them into a police vehicle.

A top police official told Greater Kashmir that both the persons have been detained and their political affiliation is being ascertained. “A case has already been registered in police station Maisuma,” he said.

“Some miscreants assembled at the scene and created disturbances,” the police spokesman said. He said that police station Maisuma has taken cognizance by registering FIR number 27/18 under section 341, 506 and 323 RPC and investigations have been started.

A top police official said that it was Pakistan’s I-Day and no occasion to raise tricolour at Lal Chowk. “The clock tower is not a designated place to hoist national flag,” he said.

Meanwhile, the state unit of the BJP said that those detained at Lal Chowk didn’t belong to the party. “We had no information about any flag hoisting. So we don’t know who appeared in Lal Chowk. They are not from our party,” BJP’s state spokesman Altaf Thakur said.