Controversy over Army jawan’s coffin draped in BJD flag

Action has hurt sentiments of martyr’s family: BJP

A controversy has erupted over draping of the coffin of a jawan of the 44 Rashtriya Rifles, killed in an improvised explosive device blast in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district, in the Biju Janata Dal flag with the BJP seeking an unconditional apology from the regional party.

The incident came to light when a photograph of the BJD flag-draped coffin of the Ajit Kumar Sahoo went viral on social media.

The body was taken in a procession to Sahoo’s home district of Dhenkanal after Governor Ganeshi Lal paid tribute on Thursday.

BJP Ex-Servicemen Cell State president Colonel B.K. Bastia demanded an unconditional apology from Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik, saying the action had hurt the sentiment of martyr’s family as well as the defence forces.

‘Politicising soldier’s death’

BJP vice-president Baijayant Panda termed criticised the BJD for politicising the death of an Indian soldier by draping his coffin with its party flag instead of the Tricolor.

“Request national media to call this out, and BJD to apologise and commit to never repeating it,” he tweeted.

According to family members, BJD workers had draped the coffin with their flag at Khuntuni, on the outskirt of Dhenkanal. The flag, however, was removed later.

The BJD has distanced itself from the controversy. Party spokesperson Sasmit Patra said, “Whoever will be found guilty will be taken to task,” he said.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 12:36:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/controversy-over-army-jawans-coffin-draped-in-bjd-flag/article28104384.ece

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