Article 370 Abrogation: State flag down after 70 years at Civil Secretariat | KNO

Officials say under new law, State flag has no role, Locals say Kashmir issue still alive
Article 370 Abrogation: State  flag down after 70 years  at Civil Secretariat | KNO

Kashmir News Observer (KNO)

Srinagar, August 25 (KNO) : In a historic development, the authorities in Srinagar downed the State flag at the Civil Secretariat in the wake of abrogation of Article 370 that provided special status to Jammu and Kashmir till August 5. In the morning, officials from the State administration reached the Civil Secretariat Srinagar, and downed the State flag that used to fly high along with the national flag. Till August 5, State flag was a symbol of J&K’s special status that was rolled back by the BJP led regime at Centre besides bifurcating the State into two union territories— J&K and Ladakh. State flag first was declared mandatory for unfurling at the Civil Secretariats of the State in June 1952 by the then Constituent Assembly. According to KNO, many passers by termed the downing of State flag as a “saddest moment for the J&K’s history.” 

“This is a saddest day of my life,” said Nasir Ahmed, who was walking outside Secretariat, when flag was downed by the secretariat employees tasked to carry out the job by the Governor Satya Pal Malik led administration.  An elderly Ghulam Muhammad told KNO that today State lost everything and that the move to down the State flag shows that New Delhi is serious in integrating the State with the Union of India. 

“But one thing is clear that this all is being done on the basis of military might. We can only see these developments but this all doesn’t mean that Kashmir issue is a gone case. Kashmir is a political issue and today entire International community is well aware of it,” the elderly man said. He said that he has witnessed many historic moments including 1971 war and many other things as he has crossed 80 years of age. “Today is a crucial time and I believe history is going to be changed. Flag is down by the Kashmir issue remains alive. Lets see what happens,” he said. A group of young boys, travelling in a private car, halted for a while outside the Secretariat gate to witness the historic moment of downing of State flag. “Let them do what they want to. Kashmir issue is a political issue and has to be resolved politically. There is an anger among the people. Shops are closed and there is no public transport on roads,” they told KNO. An official in the Governor Malik led administration said that since the law to abrogate Article 370 stands passed in the both houses of parliament with full majority, there was no fun to keep the State flag up at the Civil Secretariat, the highest seat of governance in Kashmir. “The methods of integration of J&K into the Union of India is gradually being implemented on ground,” he told KNO. Another official told KNO that the integration act will fully be applicable from October 1 and from that very day, J&K and Ladakh will be declared as two Union Territories.(KNO)