Three weeks after the Centre scrapped the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, the flag of Jammu and Kashmir has been removed from the civil secretariat in Srinagar.
On Sunday, only the Tricolour was fluttering on the secretariat.
There was no official statement on the removal of the state flag from the civil secretariat as the Jammu and Kashmir government skipped the daily press briefing on Sunday.
The separate state flag was one of the three symbols of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, the other two being a separate Constitution and criminal procedure code. On August 5, the Centre scrapped the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and bifurcated the state into two Union territories — Jammu and Kashmir is to be a Union Territory with legislature, and Ladakh a Union Territory without legislature.
While the state flag was hoisted every morning alongside the Tricolour on the civil secretariat in Srinagar and taken off in the evening, eyewitnesses said the state flag was not hoisted on Sunday morning.
When contacted, official sources told The Indian Express it was not required for the government to wait till November 1 — when the state becomes a Union Territory as per the reorganisation order — to stop hoisting the Jammu and Kashmir flag. “The government could have removed the state flag on August 7 itself. The scrapping of special status was with immediate effect,” said the source. The state flag is unlikely to be hoisted any more, the source added.
On Sunday, the security lockdown in the Valley continued for the 21st day. While the restrictions on civilian movement were eased in parts of Kashmir, shops and business establishments remained closed and public transport was off the roads. Very few private vehicles plied on the roads.
The communication blockade too continued, even as the government has said the landline connections have been restored in most parts of the Valley. People from most parts of Srinagar and other parts of north and south Kashmir, however, said their landline connectivity is yet to be restored. Cellular services, broadband and mobile internet are still suspended across Kashmir.