J&K High Court stays 2 flag-hoisting order
The division bench of J&K High Court stayed the order of hoisting 2 flags in J&K. It is likely to become a significant political concern between ruling coalition allies Peoples Democratic Party and the BJP, with the former in support and latter against it. The order came after former top cop and senior BJP leader Farooq Khan challenged the court's December 27 ruling.
The J&K state flag
The Jammu and Kashmir flag is "rectangular and red in colour with three equidistant white vertical stripes of equal width next to the staff and a white plough in the middle with a handle facing the bands."
Special status enjoyed by J&K flag
Jammu and Kashmir is the only state in India which has its own unique flag ratified by its constituent assembly and provisioned in the state's constitution signifying autonomy or limited/residual sovereignty of the state. Section 144 of the Jammu and Kashmir constitution made it essential to hoist the J&K flag along with the national flag on all government structures having offices of constitutional officials.
Of circulars, their retraction and then restoration
On 12 March 2015, the state government had published a circular asking constitutional officials to hoist the state flag along with the tricolour. Seeing BJP visibly miffed, Mufti Sayeed-led PDP-BJP coalition authority had later retracted the circular. The high court order had reestablished the March circular by the government, contending that "not following the order had been declared as "an insult to the flag".
J&K directs government to hoist state flag in offices
Jammu and Kashmir HC ordered the state government to hoist the state flag, along with the national flag, on all official buildings and vehicles of constitutional authorities, reiterating that Article 370 that guarantees special status to the state. The court, however, stated that it was not binding for the state to celebrate 17 November as Republic Day of the state.
Omar Abdullah asks CM to step down
The flag-hoisting development in the form of the HC order triggered a political storm with former chief minister Omar Abdullah lashing out at his successor, Mufti Mohammed Sayeed of the Peoples Democratic Party. The former J&K CM said Syed should "step down and find someone" who can defend the state's dignity and flag from the "nefarious" plans of his coalition partner BJP.