SHIMLA: What was meant to be a lazy Sunday morning in the peaceful and serene atmosphere of the Tapovan was filled with buzz as Khalistani symbols were fixed on the Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha building in Dharamshala.
Yellow flags with the ‘khanda’ symbol and Khalistan written on them were put up at the entrance of the assembly building, which generally opened for the winter session. Along with the flags, Khalistan was also written in green colour at two spots on the boundary wall near the main gate.
When this correspondent at The New Indian reached the gates of Vidhan Sabha, the walls were looking as squeaky clean as earlier, with several officials maintaining a radio silence.
The incident came to light after the morning walkers alerted the authorities about the flags and the words. The news spread like wildfire in Dharamshala and Himachal Pradesh.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has condemned the incident, terming it a cowardly act.
“I condemn the cowardly incident of raising Khalistan flags at the gate of Dharamshala Assembly Complex in the dark of night,” CM Thakur tweeted.
“Stop taking advantage of the darkness at night to fulfil your nefarious designs. If you have courage, come out in the open,” he said in a series of tweets.
Calling it a cowardly act, CM Thakur said those behind the act took advantage of the fact that the Assembly building, meant only for the winter session of the House, had less security.
“Only winter sessions take place in this assembly, so only during that time more security is required. Taking advantage of this, this cowardly incident has been carried out, but we will not tolerate it. This incident will be investigated quickly and strict action will be taken against the culprits,” CM Thakur said while talking about the security at the legislative assembly building.
Echoing the sentiments local MLA Vishal Nehriya termed it an act of cowardice carried out in the darkness of night. “We condemn this act of cowardice committed in the darkness of night. If they are brave enough then they should come out in the open. We are throwing an open challenge to them,” the BJP MLA said.
Shilpi Beakta, SDM, Dharamshala, who rushed to the spot, said, “We received information this morning at around 7.30 am. We have removed the flags and the walls have been painted again. We are inquiring about the matter and are going to register a case under relevant sections of the Himachal Pradesh Open Places Prevention of Disfigurement Act, 1985. Rest details can be shared after investigation.”