National Anthem Row: DC Jammu Turns Vigilante,Gets 2 Kashmiris Booked

Jammu: In the first such case in Jammu and Kashmir, the police at the behest of  Deputy Commissioner Jammu  booked two Kashmiris for not standing during the national anthem at a cinema hall here.

Reports said Deputy Commissioner Simrandeep Singh on Thursday took it upon himself to enforce law and get two young Kashmir Muslim government employees booked for allegedly showing “disrespect” to the national anthem played in the Wave cinema ahead of a movie screening in Narwal Bala area of Jammu City.

 The men have been identified as Javed Ahmed, 34, who is a consultant with the J&K Institute of Management, Public Administration and Rural Development in Jammu and Mudassar Ahmed, 30, who is an employee of the Jammu and Kashmir Bank in Srinagar.  While Javed is a resident of Hillar village of Anantnag, Mudassar hails from Neelipura in Handwara.  

The two men had gone separately to watch Sharukh Khan-starrer Raees and did not stand when the national anthem was played. The men were booked under the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act and taken to the Narwal Police Post. 

The matter was brought to their notice by the security in-charge at the Mall, who had also gone to watch the film. A police official said the duo claimed that they could not stand up in time as they were engaged in an argument with some women over their seats when the national anthem started. The matter is under investigation, said the official, adding that there were no CCTV cameras in the hall.

In November last year, the Supreme Court ruled that all cinema halls must play the national anthem before the screening of films, and all present must “stand up to show respect”.

Vigilantism has intensified after the Supreme Court order on November 30. A number of cases of movie goers being roughed up by these vigilantes later made the apex court exempt differently-abled persons from standing up.

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