No info on ban on hoisting foreign flag or cheering foreign team: Ministry of Home Affairs

The center said it had no information on any ban on flying a foreign flag within the Federation of India. Also, there is no information if there is any list of foreign sports teams or individual athletes that cannot be encouraged in India.

Harmilap Grewal, RTI activist in Patinda, asked the Union Home Affairs Ministry (MHA) to provide a list of countries whose flag has been banned/flyed within Union of India by an individual in his home/institution. .

It has also asked for a list of countries that have been banned/unlawful to encourage their sports teams or athletes
India.

Concerning banning the flag of a foreign country, the Ministry of Home Affairs replied to Grewal, “The information is not available with the undersigned Public Information Officer (CPIO). The requested information may be available with the Ministry of External Affairs. Therefore, your request is passed on to Bharath Kumar Kuthati, Director of the CPIO, RTI Cell, MEA, under Section 6(3) of the RTI Act of 2005, to provide the requested information directly to you.”

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On banning foreign sports teams or athletes, the MHA said, “Information is not available with the CPIO signed below. The requested information may be available with the Ministry of Youth and Sports Affairs. Therefore, your request is passed on to Neelam Arora, Undersecretary & CPIO, RTI-PG, Ministry of Youth and Sports Affairs, under Section 6(3) of the RTI Act of 2005, to provide the requested information directly to you.”

Grewal said, “I have been asked to file this RTI after cases were registered against students across India for raising Pakistan flags during a live broadcast of a cricket match. If the Ministry of Home Affairs does not have such information, how do the police, which is under the internal administration, detain the students? for allegedly raising foreign flags and supporting foreign teams.”

Kashmiri students and others have been booked and arrested under sedition in Uttar Pradesh for allegedly celebrating Pakistan’s victory over India in the T20 World Cup cricket match in October last year. Farooq Khan was arrested under section IPC 153A (Promoting hostility between groups on the basis of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language and doing acts detrimental to the maintenance of harmony) for allegedly raising the Pakistani national flag at his home in Diwas district, Madhya Pradesh added in August 2020.

Grewal said, “There are many such cases where a person is arrested for raising a foreign flag or cheering for foreign teams. I hope that RTI’s response from the Department of Home Affairs that it does not have such information would help the accused in such cases.”

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