Jammu-Kashmir flag is removed at secretariat

Srinagar: The flag of Jammu and Kashmir, which used to flutter along with the Tricolour, was removed from the Civil Secretariat on Sunday, three weeks after the Centre revoked Article 370 which granted special status to the state, officials said.

Under Article 370, Jammu and Kashmir was permitted to have its own flag, which was red in colour with three equidistant white vertical strips and a white plough.

The flag, which was hoisted along with the Tricolour every day atop the civil secretariat, the seat of the government, was supposed to be removed on October 31 when the law bifurcating Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories -- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh -- will come into effect.

The three stripes represented the state's three regions of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. However, on Sunday morning, only the Tricolour was hoisted on the secretariat building, the officials said.

They said the flag will be removed from other government buildings as well. The flag was adopted by state constituent assembly on June 7, 1952. Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik has claimed that there is no shortage of essential commodities and said the lack of communication lines is a better option than loss of lives. 

Malik, who was in the national capital to pay his last respects to former Union finance minister Arun Jaitley, said no life has been lost in Jammu and Kashmir due to any violence in the last 10 days after the abrogation of the special status.

"If blockade of communication helps saves lives, what is the harm?" he told reporters when asked to comment on how long the restrictions will continue. Malik said that in the past, whenever there was a crisis in Kashmir, at least 50 people used to die in the first week itself.

"Our attitude is that there should be no loss of human life. '10 din telephone nahi honge, nahi honge, lekin hum bahut jaldi sab wapas kar denge. (If there is no phone connection for 10 days, so be it. But, we will restore everything soon)," he said.

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