National flag dumped in garbage: Police, Navy, Coast Guard begin probe

Indian flag
National flag was found in a heap of garbage at Irumpanam in Kochi on Tuesday.

Kochi: The Navy and the Coast Guard on Wednesday launched a probe into an incident wherein the national flag and the flags of the Coast Guard were found dumped along with garbage on the outskirts of Ernakulam in Kerala.

The police have already registered a case and launched an investigation into the matter by constituting a special squad.

Defence sources told PTI that even the Navy and Coast Guard have initiated parallel investigations into the incident and at the same time they are also cooperating with the police probe.

A top officer of Kochi city police said an ex-military personnel passing through that area had reported the incident and immediately they had rushed to the spot, gave a salute to the Indian flag and removed it as well as the flags of the Coast Guard from an open piece of land close to Irumpanam crematorium in Ernakulam on Tuesday.

The special squad has begun to investigate what has happened and as part of that, information has been sought from the Cochin Naval Base and the Coast Guard, the officer said.

He said it is hoped that the flags were dumped there in such an insulting manner by someone from outside the naval base or the Coast Guard.

The defence sources said it is suspected that the agencies which were awarded contracts to collect scrap from outside the "material organisations" (or store depots) of the Navy and Coast Guard were probably responsible for what had happened.

Both the Navy and Coast Guard are investigating how the national flag ended up there along with the scrap, the sources said.

They also said that it is believed that Navy or Coast Guard personnel would never make such an error as they are well aware of the protocol of dealing with the national flag as per the Flag Code of 2002.

Under the Prevention of Insults to the National Honour Act, any defiling, defacing or disrespect to the national flag by any means carries a punishment of imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or fine or both.

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