A Chennai police sub-inspector was reassigned for purportedly showing disrespect to the national flag during a World Cup cricket match between Pakistan and Afghanistan at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Monday. A viral video captured the moment when the officer retrieved the flag from a bin and hastily folded it before placing it in a police vehicle.
It is reported that the officer, who was stationed near Gate 4 on the Victoria Hostel Road, allegedly prevented some fans from bringing the national flag into the stadium.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Triplicane DCP Deshmukh Shekhar Sanjay said, “There was no ban on carrying any flags, and that the police on duty were asked to watch out only for flags and banners with controversial themes.
‘There is absolutely no ban on fans carrying any flags. As per the information we received, the officer stopped a couple of fans from carrying the national flag and later put it in a nearby bin and then took it. We conducted an initial inquiry and the officer was transferred to the control room,’
the DCP said.
The video, making rounds on social media, revealed a disturbing incident outside the cricketing venue. The conduct of the police officer has prompted inquiries into his intentions, igniting a widespread discussion and apprehension regarding the treatment of national symbols.
Meanwhile, the state Tamil Nadu BJP president K Annamalai strongly criticized the police. He stated,
“The police outside the stadium disallowed fans from carrying the Indian flag to today’s match in Chepauk. Who gave TNCA this right?”
he wrote on X.
The statement from the Greater Chennai Police reads,
“He (police officer) was recalled to the control room. Appropriate action as per law will be taken based on the findings. Apart from this solitary incident, no others were reported. It is observed that many spectators are freely carrying and displaying the Tricolour inside the stadium.”
Responding to the public’s strong reaction, the Greater Chennai Police promptly reassigned the concerned police officer to the control room, underscoring their dedication to pursuing legal actions as dictated by the results of the ongoing investigation. It is essential to mention that, apart from this isolated incident, the police emphasized in their statement that there have been no additional similar incidents reported.
The incident at Chepauk Stadium transcends a singular occurrence. It highlights the significance of upholding national symbols, especially in a diverse and culturally vibrant nation like India. The national flag, known as the Tricolour, serves as a potent emblem of the country’s unity and independence, and any action showing disrespect to it is bound to elicit powerful responses.