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No plastic Flag, no disrespect to tricolour, says home ministry on the eve of Independence Day

The Home Ministry also sought strict compliance with the provisions of the Flag Code of India, 2002, and the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971

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Flag of India. Image source: www.techicy.com
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New Delhi, August 14, 2016: On the eve of India’s 70th Independence Day, national and patriotic fervour is quite evident among the people. But while displaying the commitment to the nation, one must ensure that they do not dishonour or insult the National Flag or other symbols of national honour.

In an advisory to the central and state governments on Sunday, the Home Ministry has reminded them to ensure only flags made of paper are used by the public, and that such paper flags are not discarded or thrown on the ground after the national, cultural and sports events.

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Such flags for public display and for the day’s events should not be made of plastic, the advisory has said and asked state administrations to reiterate this in advertisements in electronic and print media.

India Flag lying on the ground. Image source: womenpla.net
India Flag lying on the ground. Image source: womenpla.net

The Home Ministry also sought strict compliance with the provisions of the Flag Code of India, 2002, and the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971.

“Since plastic flags are not biodegradable like paper flags, these do not get decomposed for a long time and ensuring appropriate disposal of national flags made of plastic commensurate with the dignity of the flag, is a practical problem,” it said.

“Such (paper) flags are to be disposed of, in private, consistent with the dignity of the flag. Wide publicity, for not using the National Flag made of plastic, should be made along with its advertisement in the electronic and print media,” it said.

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The Section 2 of The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971, lays down that “whoever in any public place or in any other place within public view bums, mutilates, defaces, defiles, disfigures, destroys, tramples upon or otherwise shows disrespect to or brings into contempt (whether by words, either spoken or written, or by acts) the Indian national flag or any part thereof, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine, or with both”.

The advisory reiterates that the national flag represents the “hopes and aspirations” of the people of the country and hence should occupy a position of honour. (IANS)

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Star ICC Asks Anonymous Accuser Of Sexual Assault Charges To Step Forward

The accuser said that while she was at the company, there were "clear instructions" given to make the sales team fulfil the targets.

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Star ICC
#MeToo: Star India internal panel writes to anonymous accuser to come forward

The Internal Complaints Committee of Star India on Sexual Harassment (Star ICC) has written to the anonymous accuser — who had alleged “sexual exploitation” of women employees — asking her to reach out to the committee or its external member on allegations made by her in tweets.

In a Twitter post on Friday, Star ICC, formed under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 said it had reached out to the accuser through two emails on the ID provided by her through her tweets. The committee’s external member is Veena Gowda, a Mumbai-based woman rights lawyer.

The accuser, who tweeted through handle @ApurvaS17 — saying she would remain anonymous — had made sexual harassment allegations against the company’s officials in an open letter.

Star ICC
Star believes that the allegations made in the tweet without the complainant coming forward and giving any further detail, is a malicious attempt.

Asked to comment on the allegations, a Star India spokesperson said in a statement that despite no response by the anonymous accuser to the messages sent, the Star ICC had “suo moto conducted a preliminary inquiry and found no basis or factual accuracy” in respect of the allegations.

“We strongly urge any genuine complainant to approach the Star ICC. At Star, we stand with women in drawing the line on any behaviour that violates human dignity or the ability for women to pursue their dreams with respect and freedom. We have a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual harassment,” read the statement in response to an email query by IANS.

It also said that the anonymous tweet shared on October 13 raised an allegation that “runs completely counter to everything we believe in and the norms and values that we deeply embrace.”

The statement further said: “Star believes that the allegations made in the tweet without the complainant coming forward and giving any further detail, is a malicious attempt to malign and defame the reputation of the company and the CEO.” It said that Star reserves its right to initiate appropriate legal proceedings in this regard.

Star ICC
The Star ICC had “suo moto conducted a preliminary inquiry and found no basis or factual accuracy.

The accuser in her tweets had said that the #MeToo movement had encouraged her to come forward and that she had quit her job at Star India in the Airtime Sales section after 26 months and nine days and was now a homemaker, “taking care of my baby and hubby in a beautiful country, far away from Mumbai.”

The accuser said that while she was at the company, there were “clear instructions” given to make the sales team fulfil the targets in case they want to continue with their employment contract, “for which even if you have to take the clients to a hotel room and sleep with them for days.”

She said there were many instances when she and three of her female colleagues (interns) had clear instructions to reach a hotel after office hours for a private party hosted for influential friends.

Also Read: India’s Junior Foreign Minister M.J. Akbar Quits Following #MeToo Harassment Allegation By Women

She says the influential friends were “mostly bureaucrats and sometimes politicians and foreign nationals” who were “all ready to violate you, force you to dance against your wishes, drink with them, make drink(s) for them, exchange your numbers and even quietly accompany them to their respective rooms if they want you to”.

Veteran writer-director Vinta Nanda, who earlier this month accused actor Alok Nath of sexually violating her 19 years ago, wrote on Twitter: “I’m neither shocked nor surprised. I salute your courage to have come out and spoken out. The rot runs deep.” (IANS)