Around 20 people have been arrested in last two days for failing to stand for nation anthem, weeks after the Supreme Court mandated it in a ruling. Twelve of the 20 people were arrested from international film festival in Kerala for failing to observe the order. Not only they were arrested, but first beaten up by some people after they allegedly refuse to stand for the anthem. “They were formally arrested and later released on bail,” Sparjan Kumar, Thiruvananthapuram’s police chief, was quoted as saying by AFP.
These people also suffered harassment by a group of 20 men during the interval for allegedly refusing to stand. They were reportedly charged under the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act and face up to three years in jail if found guilty.
In its November 30 verdict, Supreme Court ruled that cinemas should play the national anthem before every screening, and mandated every able person to stand.
However, the apex court did not specify a penalty/punishment for failure to stand nor did it indicate that who will monitor the same in theaters. Before the latest order, the playing of the national anthem was only compulsory in Maharashtra.