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Government sets new guidelines to mantain sanctity of National anthem and flag

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The Modi-led central government has set new guidelines to maintain the sanctity of the national anthem and national emblem.

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In an order issued to the state governments and other law enforcement agencies, the Ministry of Home Affairs has told the agencies to initiate action against those who are found disrespecting the anthem and the state emblem.

The MHA in its letter has also elaborated on what amounts to “disrespect” to the national flag, emblem and anthem.

The move comes in the wake of frequent complaints of disrespecting national anthem and misuse of the state emblem.

The Centre has sent an order to all government machineries and asked them to act against those people who are violating rules, and take action against officials using the national emblem wrongly.

“Complaints are being received by this ministry (MHA) from various quarters about the insult or disrespect to the National Anthem of India. Orders relating to the National Anthem must have strict compliance. It is also requested that suitable instructions in this regard may please be issued to all concerned agencies,” the MHA said in its letter sent to all departments, ministries and states.

Sources say that since October last year, the government has been receiving complaints along with instances where people have directly or indirectly insulted the national anthem.

“It has been noticed that MHA is receiving complaints regarding disrespect of the national anthem. So, an order has been issued along with details regarding the national anthem of India so that various government machineries can check that no one disrespects the national anthem intentionally or unintentionally,” a senior government official told media.

In January this year, a resident of Kandivali, Mumbai, was heckled out of a suburban cinema hall for refusing to stand up when the national anthem played before the screening of the movie.

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According to the MHA letter issued to all government machineries: “Whenever the anthem is sung or played, the audience shall stand to attention. However, when in the course of a newsreel or documentary anthem is played as a part of the film, it is not expected of the audience to stand as standing is bound to interrupt the exhibition of the film and would bring in disorder and confusion rather than add to the dignity of the anthem.”

The government says there are two versions of the national anthem, one of 20 seconds and another of 52 seconds.

Similarly, the MHA has asked states and the central departments to keep a check on those officials misusing the state emblem.

“It has been brought to the notice of this ministry that various government agencies which are using the State Emblem of India on their stationery, publications, seals, vehicles, buildings websites, etc, often omit the motto Satyameva Jayate. It may be noted that the state Emblem of India is incomplete without the motto inscribed (in Devanagari script) below the profile of the Lion Capital is an incomplete display of the State Emblem of India.”

Wefornews Bureau

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Himachal avalanche: 5 soldiers still missing, rescue underway

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Shimla, Feb 21: Despite inclement weather, rescuers on Thursday resumed a search operation near the Tibet border with Himachal Pradesh where a snow avalanche claimed life of a soldier and five went missing.

As the rescue operations entered the second day, the authorities suspected that the soldiers might be trapped in the snow pile spread over a 200 square metre area.

“This morning the search operation began despite intermittent snowfall,” a government official told news agency IANS.

The calamity triggered yesterday when the glacier near Namgia Dogri, burying six jawans of the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles while 16 of them were on a routine patrol.

Five Indo-Tibetan Border Force (ITBP) soldiers were also wounded in the mishappening.

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Fresh snowfall, landslides shut Jammu-Srinagar highway

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Jammu, Feb 21: Fresh snowfall in the Bannihal sector and multiple landslides in the Ramsoo-Ramban sector blocked the Jammu-Srinagar highway, prompting halt of all traffic on Thursday on the strategic route.

“Over a foot of fresh snow has accumulated on the highway in Bannihal sector. There have been multiple landslides triggered by heavy rain at places in the Ramsoo-Ramban sector, as well,” a traffic department official said.

It is raining heavily along the 300-km stretch at various places both in the Kashmir Valley and the Jammu division.

“No vehicular traffic will be allowed on the highway today. Snow and landslide clearance operation will be started immediately after the weather improves,” the Traffic Department said.

The official said stranded vehicles along the highway were all parked at safe places.

The highway is regarded as the jugular vein of the landlocked valley as all essential supplies are routed to Kashmir through this road. Each time the highway gets blocked, shortages of essential supplies hit the valley.

From February 6 to 12 the highway had remained shut causing acute crisis in the valley.

IANS

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Pulwama fallout: Security of 18 separatists, 155 politicians in J&K withdrawn

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The security cover of four senior separatist leaders -- Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, Shabir Shah, Professor Abdul Gani Bhat and Bilal Lone were already withdrawn on Monday. (Photo Credit- Reuters)

Jammu, Feb 21: The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Wednesday withdrew security of 18 separatists and 155 political persons in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack on February 14 in which over 40 CRPF troopers were killed.

An order issued by the Home Department late on Wednesday said security cover of separatists and some mainstream politicians was also being withdrawn/downgraded apart from those that were initially withdrawn on February 18.

As per the new order, the new list includes names from the National Conference, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress.

Some of them are Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik, former IAS officer Shah Faesal and PDP leader Waheed Para.

“Over 1,000 personal security guards and 100 vehicles provided to the secured persons are being withdrawn,” officials said here.

The security cover of four senior separatist leaders — Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, Shabir Shah, Professor Abdul Gani Bhat and Bilal Lone were already withdrawn on Monday.

The decision to cut down heavily on separatist leaders’ cover was taken in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack when an explosive-packed SUV rammed into a bus of a Central Reserve Police Force convoy on the Jammu-Srinagar highway killing 40 paramilitary troopers on the spot in the worst-ever terror attack in the state since militancy struck there in 1989.

IANS

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