New Delhi: A man from Assam was arrested by the Delhi Police for using the national flag to offer namaz inside the Indira Gandhi International Airport.
The incident took place on 8 May and the man, identified as Mohammed Tariq Aziz, was released on bail the same day.
“Md Tariq Aziz, resident of Assam, came from Dubai by flight 6E24 and had to further go to Dimapur by Indigo flight 6E 5398. At about 0046 to 0050 hrs, he spread the Indian national flag on the floor and by standing on it he was praying namaz, between boarding gate 1 and 3. His activities were found suspicious and undesirable. He has disrespected the national flag,” read the FIR filed by the police.
Aziz was first detained by personnel of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which manages security at airports across the country, and later handed over to the Delhi Police.
A case was subsequently filed by the Delhi Police under the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971. It’s a bailable offence.
This Act states that “whoever in any public place or in any other place within public view burns, mutilates, defaces, difiles, disfigures, destroys, tramples upon or 1 [otherwise shows disrespect to or brings] into contempt (whether by words, either spoken or written, or by acts) the Indian National Flag or the Constitution of India or any part thereof, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both”.
Police seizes Aziz’s passport
The Delhi Police also seized Aziz’s passport, a photocopy of his boarding pass and the tricolour. According to a source, Aziz was unable to give a satisfactory reply when questioned about his act during investigation by the airport personnel.
Speaking to ThePrint, DCP Metro, Jitendra Mani Tripathi, who is currently also holding charge as DCP airport, said, “We detained the person after the CISF turned him in. He was later released on bail since it was a bailable offense. Sections pertaining to disrespecting the national flag were invoked.”
According to the DCP, Aziz was released after being given a notice under CrPC section 41. This notice is given for appearance before a police officer when the arrest of a person is not required but a reasonable complaint has been made against him or her. In case this order is not complied with, the police may arrest the person.
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