During an Army event in Srinagar, two journalists were asked to leave as they didn’t stand during the national anthem while the Indian flag was being unfurled.
The incident took place during the passing out parade of recruits at the regimental centre of the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry Regiment.
The two journalists who were from ‘Kashmir Reader’ and ‘Rising Kashmir’ were busy jotting down their notes and didn’t stand up for the national anthem.
As soon as the flag unfurling ceremony was over, an Indian Army officer walked up to them and asked them to the leave as they “did not stand up”.
According to reports, by not standing up for the anthem the journalists disrespected the national flag.
As proof, the Jammu and Kashmir Government’s Department of Information on May 24 also issued a photograph which clearly showed the two journalists sitting while everyone else was standing. The photo includes J&K’s Minister for Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation and senior PDP leader Syed Basharat Ahmed.
When ‘Kashmir Reader’ correspondent Junaid Bazaz was asked about the incident, he said that “the army had invited us to cover the event, not to participate in it”.
He then further clarified that when the Indian anthem was being played, he was “jotting down notes for his story”. Once the anthem was over, a Colonel Burn came up to him and said, “All people here stood up for the anthem and the flag except you. We don’t need people like you here, so leave.”