No information on ban on raising a foreign flag or cheering on a foreign team: Interior Ministry

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The Center said it had no information on a ban on flying a foreign flag within the Indian Union. Also, there is no information if there is a list of foreign sports teams or individual sportsmen who cannot be cheered on in India.

Bathinda-based RTI activist Harmilap Grewal had asked the Union Home Ministry (MHA) to provide the list of nations whose flag is banned/illegal to be displayed/hoisted within the Union Indian by an individual on his home/establishment.

He had also asked for the list of countries whose sports teams or sportsmen are banned/illegal to be cheered on in
India.

Regarding the banning of a foreign country’s flag, the MHA replied to Grewal: “The information is not available from the undersigned Director of Public Information (CPIO). The required information can be obtained from of the Department of Foreign Affairs Your application is therefore transferred to Bharath Kumar Kuthati, CPIO Director, RTI Cell, MEA, under Section 6(3) of the RTI Act 2005, to provide you with the information required directly .

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Regarding the ban on foreign sports teams or sportspersons, the MHA said: “The information is not available from the undersigned CPIO. The necessary information can be obtained from the Ministry of Youth and Sports. Your application is therefore transferred to Neelam Arora, Under Secretary and CPIO, RTI-PG, Ministry of Youth and Sports, under Section 6(3) of the RTI Act 2005, to provide you directly the required information.

Grewal said: “I was asked to file this RTI after cases were registered against students across India for hoisting Pakistani flags during a live broadcast of a cricket match. If the MHA has no such information, then how come the police, who work under the Home Office, are booking students for allegedly raising foreign flags and supporting foreign teams.

Kashmiri students and others have been arrested and arrested for sedition in Uttar Pradesh for allegedly celebrating Pakistan’s victory over India in the T20 World Cup cricket match in October last year. A Farukh Khan was arrested under IPC Section 153A (promoting enmity between groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language and acts prejudicial to the maintenance of Harmony) for allegedly hoisting the national flag of Pakistan at his home in Dewas district of Madhya Pardesh in August 2020, he added.

Grewal said: “There are many cases where a person is arrested for raising a foreign flag or cheering on foreign teams. I hope RTI’s response from the MHA that he does not have such information would help the defendant in such cases.

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