Noida: Protests after Chinese national ‘tears’ Indian flag, throws it in dustbin

Sohil Sehran, Hindustan Times| March 29, 2017

NOIDA – The Noida office of a mobile phone company witnessed high drama on Tuesday after an employee of the company, a Chinese national, tore and threw an Indian flag in a dustbin.

The incident, reported from the Sector 63 Noida office of mobile phone company Oppo, triggered protests by hundreds of employee, prompting the police to step in.

The Phase-3 police registered a case against the Chinese national, who works as a production manager in the company, on a complaint filed by three employees later. A probe has been launched.

Senior superintendent of police, Gautam Budh Nagar, Dharmendra Singh said, “A case of disrespecting the national flag has been filed on the basis of a complaint by three company employees. We have not arrested anyone in this connection yet and investigations are in progress. Action will be taken after a thorough probe. We are in touch with the company employees.”

Hundreds of people, including employees of Oppo and members of the Vishva Hindu Parishad protested outside the office of the company after the incident.

The employees of Oppo waved Indian flags to mark their protest.(HT Photo)

The employees of Oppo waved Indian flags to mark their protest.(HT Photo)

The situation turned aggressive later when protesters started demanding the arrest of the Chinese national. They also raised some issues related to the labour laws being violated by the company and sought immediate action.

Eyewitnesses said more than 200 police personnel were rushed to the spot to control the crowd. As news of the incident spread, residents of neighbouring colonies climbed on to their rooftops and waved the Indian flag in a show of support for the protesters.

“Every corner of the office is under camera surveillance and we have told the police to scan the footage to establish the facts. We cannot tolerate disrespect towards our national flag,” said Vineet Arya, a protester.

The protesters dispersed after senior officials of the district administration intervened and assured them of swift action in the issue. The officials also assured the protesters that problems related to employment would be addressed.

The company shut its office for the morning and told employees to resume work on Wednesday evening.

The station house officer of Phase-3 police station, Umed Singh Yadav, said that the incident allegedly took place on Monday evening after the first shift. He said that the employees accused the Chinese national of taking down an Indian flag that was pasted on a wall and dumping it in a dustbin.

“We have registered a case and the company has extended its support for the investigation. We have sought the camera footage of the office so that we can check the claim of the employees,” Singh said.

Protesting employees said that they took up the matter with their bosses, who did not take any action, forcing them to protest in the morning.

An Oppo spokesperson later said: “We are extending all our co-operation to the concerned authorities and will take appropriate action. OPPO as a brand has deep respect for India and is strongly rooted as well as localized in the country.”

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