Cyberabad Police Slammed For Indulging Twitter User Who Complained About Saffron Flags At Vendor Carts

by Harshil Mehta - Apr 27, 2020 05:03 PM +05:30 IST
Cyberabad Police Slammed For Indulging Twitter User Who Complained About Saffron Flags At Vendor CartsRepresentative image (Wikimedia Commons) 
Snapshot
  • “Are saffron flags illegal now?”, thousands of social media users asked the police

A day after the Jamshedpur police removed banners mentioning ‘Hindu’ from some shops and drew ire for the same from social media, the Cyberabad police in Telangana is facing an online backlash for attempting a similar move.

On 25 April, the police in Jharkhand’s Jamshedpur city booked a group of fruit-sellers belonging to the Hindu community, for writing ‘Hindu’ on their stalls, acting on the complaint of a social media user, Ahsan Razi.

The fruit-sellers had put up banners in front of their stalls which read, ‘Vishwa Hindu Parishad ki anumodit Hindu phal dukaan’ (translated as ‘fruit shop approved by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad’.

In a similar case in Telangana on 26 April, a Twitter user by the name Azam Nawaz complained against vendors installing saffron flags on their carts.

“This Has Started In HYDERABAD. Location Attapur | vegetables vendors Sanghis are installing saffron flags. we believe in ganga Jamuna Tehzeeb Action must be Taken who are trying to discriminate & Requesting People To #BoyCott (sic),” the user wrote, and tagged several handles including that of the chief minister of Telangana.

It’s pertinent to mention that the photograph provided by the user only showed saffron flags, and did not suggest a boycott of any community.

However, the official handle of Cyberabad Police replied to this user and tagged the handle of Rajendra Nagar Police Station, suggesting action in the matter.

Thousands of social media users, including prominent voices from the government and the Bharatiya Janata Party, slammed the Cyberababad police for this move.

Arvind Dharmapuri, Member of Parliament from Nizamabad and a BJP politician, wrote in the comment, “May I know what does tagging Rajendra nagar police station mean, my dear DGP ji? Is your department suggesting the local police station to remove flags?”

Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga, spokesperson of BJP Delhi, replied, “Get Well Soon.”

Suresh Nakhua, Spokesperson of BJP Mumbai, also wrote the same.

Twitter user and author Shefali Vaidya asked what law the vegetable vendors had violated. “Are saffron flags illegal in India now,” she questioned. “Under which constitutional provision or which section of IPC?”

Former Shivsena leader and activist Ramesh Solanki quoted the reply of Cyberabad Police and asked, “...when did putting bhagwa flag or green flag on shop or home become illegal?...Did that flag hurt anyone?”

Last seen, there were more than 5000 comments to the reply of Cyberabad Police. More than 3500 users have replied to the tweet by the user who complained about the flags.

Till the time of writing this report, there were no updates on the action taken or clarification from Cyberabad Police.

Harshil Mehta is a columnist who writes on international relations, diplomacy, and national issues. He tweets @MehHarshil.
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