Panaji: The navy has said that it has had to cancel its plan to unfurl the national flag on Sao Jacinto island in South Goa on the Independence Day after local residents objected to it, following which Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant requested naval authorities to go ahead with the flag hoisting programme as scheduled and gave a stern warning to the islanders that any “anti-India activities” would be dealt with an “iron fist”.Also Read - International Charter Flights to Hit Goa Airport Soon, Says CM Pramod Sawant

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said it was “unfortunate and shameful” that some people on the island were objecting to the hoisting of the flag, and added that his government would not tolerate such “anti-India” acts. Also Read - Arjun Rampal Breaks Silence On Gabriella Demetriades Brother's Arrest In Drug Case | Read Full Statement

As a part of the nationwide ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ programme to commemorate 75 years of Independence, the Ministry of Defence has planned unfurling of the national flag on islands across the nation between August 13 and 15, officials said. Also Read - Marathi Actor Ishwari Deshpande Dies After Her Car Plunges Into Creek In Goa

A spokesperson of the navy’s INS Hansa base in Goa said on Friday that a team from Goa Naval Area visited islands of Goa including Sao Jacinto island as part of this pan-India initiative.

“However, the plan at Sao Jacinto island had to be cancelled as the same was objected to by the residents,” the navy spokesperson said.

Goa’s Sao Jacinto island is located near Vasco town in South Goa district.

The naval officer said that the nationwide ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ initiative has been undertaken to instill a sense of patriotism and celebrate the run up to India’s 75th year of Independence.

Reacting to the navy’s announcement of cancelling the flag-hoisting programme, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said on Twitter late on Friday evening, “It is unfortunate and shameful that some individuals at St. Jacinto Island have objected to Hoisting of the National Flag by the Indian Navy on the occasion of India’s Independence Day. I condemn this and want to state on record that my government will not tolerate any such acts.”

“I have requested the Indian Navy to go ahead with their original plan and have assured full cooperation from Goa Police. These attempts of anti-India activities shall be dealt with an iron fist. It will always be Nation First,” he added.

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