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Days before Ram Navami and other Hindu festivals, Rajasthan govt bans religious flags on public properties

Collectors of various districts in Rajasthan including Kota, Ajmer, Jodhpur, and Bikaner issued orders banning flags with religious symbols at public places

Days before Ram Navami and other major Hindu festivals like Durga Ashtami, Hanuman Jayanti, and Mahaveer Jayanti take place, the Rajasthan government has banned raising religious flags on public properties and places. Corresponding orders are issued by collectors of various districts including Kota, Ajmer, Jodhpur, and Bikaner.

Deputy mayor of the Ajmer municipal corporation Neeraj Jain tweeted, “Gehlot Saab’s Nadirshahi decree in Kota, Bikaner, Jodhpur and now in Ajmer and other cities. It is a crime to put up flags of a religious symbol, to play the DJ! It is notable that these orders have come just before the procession and Shobha yatra of Mahavir Jayanti, Durga Ashtami, Ambedkar Jayanti, Ram Navami, and Hanuman Jayanti.”

Neeraj Jain also attached the order signed by Ansh Deep – district collector of Ajmer – that said, “During religious purposes to be held in Ajmer district the individual or group of person attempt to disturb the communal harmony by affecting the law and order situation in the Ajmer district by raising the flags with religious symbols on public property such as Government Buildings, Government Undertakings, Board Corporation building, public community building/ Rest houses, public parks, circle electric and telephone poles, etc. constructed at intersections/tirahas or property of another person without any valid sanction. This may lead to apprehensions of breach of public peace and adversely disrupting law and order and social harmony. In such a situation, preventive action is necessary immediately to maintain social harmony and public peace.”

It further says, “Therefore, in view of the above circumstances, I, Ansh Deep, District Magistrate, Ajmer, in the exercise of the powers conferred under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, impose prohibitory orders prohibiting the installation of flags with religious insignia on public property in the entire urban and rural area of Ajmer district without any competent sanction. I direct all citizens to comply with this order and not to ignore it. If a person violates the above prohibitory orders, he may be prosecuted under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code.”

Ansh Deep further said in his order, “The order will be effective in the entire urban and rural area of Ajmer district from 10 am on 7th April 2022 to the next one month.”

It is notable that on 2nd April 2022, in Karauli of Rajasthan, tension prevailed in the city after a bike rally taken out on the occasion of Hindu New Year was attacked while passing through the Muslim-dominated area of Hatwara Bazar in the city. Stones were pelted at the rally, and the miscreants set on fire more than a dozen shops and three bikes. The rally was organized to celebrate ‘Nav Samvatsar’, the first day of the Hindu New Year. Curfew have been imposed in the area since then to contain communal tension.

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