The Government Friday said hoisting of state flag alongside the state flag is provided in the constitution of the state, so there should be no controversy over it. Government spokesman and Minister for Education told KNS that some people are creating instability in the state over the state flag. “Double bench has stayed another order of the court. It (raising state flag) is in constitutional scheme. Till it is in the constitution, nobody can stop it. Everybody has been using it and paying respect to this (state flag),” Akhtar told KNS. The state has been embroiled into controversy after the High Court directed the government to hoist the state flag on official buildings and vehicles of constitutional authorities in adherence to the mandate and spirit of J and K Prevention of Insult to State Honour Act, 1979. A division bench of Jammu and Kashmir High Court today stayed the single bench order directing the government to hoist the state flag. BJP National Secretary Farooq Khan had moved a petition before the division bench of Justices Tashi Rabstan and Bansi Lal Bhat challenging the single bench order passed by Justice Hasnain Masoodi. “It is not the court has said that don’t use this (state flag). Some people who are interested in creating confusion and an idea of instability use these court orders to gain political points,” the minister said. “Otherwise, there is not controversy in it. We have been using flags and we will continue to us it. National flag has its supreme place and the state flag is also guaranteed in the constitution as well. So, there is no contradiction on it.” Earlier on December 27, the court had directed the state government to hoist the state flag, along with the Indian national flag – a decision contested by the BJP, which is a part of the PDP-led regime in the state. Senior BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh had questioned the court order the flag, saying that no flag can be levelled equal to the national flag. “The national flag will be respected and that is our Endeavour,” Singh had said in Jammu. However, Akhtar downplayed the issue, saying “Nirmal Singh uses all the flags.” Meanwhile, the Opposition, National Conference, demanded that the chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed should step down for “failing to defend the state’s dignity”. National Conference working president and former chief minister Omar Abdullah slammed Mufti, saying: “If Mufti Syed can’t defend the state’s dignity & flag from the nefarious plans of his allies he should step down & find someone who can!!!,” Omar wrote on his social networking site, Twitter. “Here’s what I’ll say – so long as J&K is a part of India the two flags will continue to fly & we’ll take pride in it,” he added. Omar asked: “Why is only J&K expected to respect the terms of accession while the rest of the country can disregard them with impunity?” he wrote.
2015 Kashmir Despatch