Journalists in Kashmir asked to leave army event for not standing up for national anthem

Srinagar: Two local journalists were on Tuesday asked by an army officer to leave an event which they were covering in Srinagar after they did not stand up for the national anthem.

Representational image. AP

Representational image. AP

The journalists working with daily newspapers Kashmir Reader and Rising Kashmir were asked to leave the event - Passing-Out Parade - held at the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry Regimental Centre, Rangreth on the outskirts of the city, after they did not stand up for the national anthem.

"Army had invited us to cover the event, not to participate in it. When the Indian anthem was played, I was jotting down notes for my story. After the anthem finished, one Colonel Burn came up to us and asked us to leave," Kashmir Reader correspondent Junaid Nabi Bazaz told PTI.

Bazaz alleged Colonel Burn "misbehaved" with them.

"He misbehaved with us. He said 'all people here stood up for the anthem and the flag except you. We do not need people like you here so leave'. So we left afterwards," the journalist said.

Confirming the incident, Srinagar-based Defence Spokesman Colonel NN Joshi said he saw that the two journalists did not stand up when national anthem was being played and when a contingent holding the tricolour was passing through.

"I went up to them and explained to them the sanctity involved. They both said they were jotting down notes for the story. However, while I was talking to them, the officer (Colonel Burn) came and naturally, it was his sentiment, and he asked them to leave," Colonel Joshi said.

He said he had brought the matter to the notice of the army's top brass in the Valley.

"I appraised the seniors about the incident. I apologised about the incident but the journalists should also understand that there is so much sanctity involved about the event and the national anthem and national flag," he said.

Bazaz said after the event, Colonel Joshi apologised for "Burn's behaviour".

"He apologised for the incident and told me that Burn should have talked to him instead of expressing himself before us. Colonel Joshi also said he raised the issue of Colonel Burn's misbehavior with the higher ups," the journalist said.

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Updated Date: May 25, 2016 08:05:01 IST

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