The Chadoora zonal education officer (ZEO) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Budgam district issued a circular to all schools in the area directing the schools to collect Rs 20 from every student and staff member for the ‘Har Ghar Tiranga‘ campaign launched as part of the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.’
‘As per the directions from the Chief Education Officer Budgam, all the HOIs (heads of institutions) of this zone are asked to collect Rs 20 per head from the students and the staff members of the school to deposit the same in ZEO office within four days,’ the circular read.
‘In case of more than one student belonging to same family, charges from only student be collected as per instructions,’ according to the circular.
‘Sad to see such orders being issued which contradict Div Com’s (Divisional Commissioner’s) statement that ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ is totally a voluntary movement and there is no compulsion & insistence in it. Admin must realize that nationalism comes naturally & can’t be imposed through the barrel of a gun,’ Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader and former MLA from Chrar-e-Sharief Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura tweeted.
Education Department sources said the circular was issued erroneously and the contribution is voluntary. He said the zonal education officer concerned has already issued a corrigendum to the circular.
‘The manner in which J&K admin is forcing students, shopkeepers & employees to pay for national flag to hoist it is as if Kashmir is an enemy territory that needs to be captured. Patriotism comes naturally & can’t be imposed,’ PDP President Mehbooba Mufti tweeted, along with a video showing purported employees of a civic body allegedly asking shopkeepers to pay up ‘to avoid trouble.’
Mr. Hanjura also questioned the administration’s decision to shut down two schools in Lal Chowk for the ‘Vijay Diwas Tiranga Yatra‘ taken out by the BJP.
‘Roads leading to Ghanta Ghar, Lal Chowk have been blocked, shops shut & a school (Tyndale Biscoe & Mallinson) in the vicinity too has been shut on a Monday just so that a political party can showcase their nationalism. The claims of ‘change’ & ‘normalcy’ post 2019 stand exposed,’ Mr. Hanjura tweeted.
This article has been taken from an agency report.