Tamil Nadu

No local body chief should be prevented from hoisting flag, says Chief Secretary

Irai Anbu

Irai Anbu

Chief Secretary V. Irai Anbu on Friday wrote to all District Collectors, instructing them to ensure that no elected president of any local body was prevented from hoisting the national flag on Independence Day, on the basis of his/her caste.

Mr. Anbu’s instruction came against the backdrop of reports that elected representatives in some village panchayats may be prevented from hoisting the tricolour due to caste discrimination.

Mr. Anbu said Collectors must ensure that the elected local body presidents hoisted the national flag in government offices in Municipalities, Town Panchayats and Village Panchayats "without any caste discrimination" on August 15.

The Chief Secretary asked the Collectors to depute police personnel, should there be any issue, and set up a helpline and appoint a nodal officer for the purpose of reporting any instance of discrimination. A report on the measures taken before and after Independence Day should be sent to him by August 14 and 17, respectively.

The Collectors should also ensure the participation of elected representatives of local bodies and the public in gram sabha meetings scheduled for that day, “without any caste discrimination”.

Recently, the president of a village panchayat near Chinnasalem in Kallakurichi district complained that she was being prevented from hoisting the national flag on Independence Day just because she belonged to a Scheduled Caste.

Article 17 of the Constitution prohibited untouchability in any form, and any acts of discrimination against members of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes were punishable offences under the provisions of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, the Chief Secretary said in his letter.

Meanwhile, through a G.O. issued by Mr. Anbu on Friday, the State government formally placed a ‘total ban’ on the practice of using ‘thandora’ to spread important messages to the public. Loudspeakers installed on bicycles and auto-rickshaws could be used instead.

The Collectors were instructed to initiate strict action against those who violated the ban.

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2022 10:23:13 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/no-local-body-chief-should-be-prevented-from-hoisting-flag-says-chief-secretary/article65762072.ece