The headmaster of a school in Balurghat was booked on Wednesday for allegedly “insulting” the Indian flag by not taking it down before sunset. Police sources said the incident took place during the Independence Day celebration at the school, which is around 1 km away from Raigunj. “A complaint was submitted at Raigunj police station, on the basis of which a case was lodged. The flag was later taken down in the presence of police,” a senior police officer said.
The complaint was filed by several local residents at 8 pm the same day for violating the rules of the ‘flag code’. The case was lodged against Abdul Rahman Ali, headmaster of Sijram Junior High School under the Prevention of Insult to National Honour Act section 2 (a gross affront or indignity offered the Indian national flag).
The headmaster said, “I wasn’t on duty. However, whatever happened, we are regretful. Why would we insult our own flag… If something happened, it was unintentional.” Mohammad Suleman, one of the complainants, said, “ We noticed at around 8 pm that the flag, which was hoisted in the morning, wasn’t taken down till then. I raised a question and others joined in.
A team of local police went inside the campus and the flag was taken down with due honour.” District Magistrate Arvind Meena said an inquiry has been initiated. Prasenjit Roy, an assistant teacher at the school, said, “The responsibility of taking down the flag was given to students of Class VIII and they apparently forgot to do so. We regret the incident.”