The headmaster of a school reportedly cut the national flag and used it to clean the chair, desk and blackboard in a class in East Singhbhum district of Jharkhand. He was taken into custody after an agitation by the locals.

The accused, Shafaq Iqbal worked in Board Middle School located in Ghatshila.

A large number of people lay siege to the school on Thursday after information about the incident surfaced.

India flag
India flagReuters

The Education Department initiated action against the headmaster for disrespecting the Tricolour and removed him from his post.

According to sources, the incident took place during an ongoing class. A crowd gathered at the school to protest after the students present in the class apprised their parents of the headmaster's act.

On receiving information about the furore, Block Education Extension Officer Subodh Rai and Executive Magistrate Keshav Bharti reached the spot along with the police.

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Initially, the accused alleged that the flag had been nibbled by a rat, which is why he committed the act while being unaware of his action being a crime.

Later, the police recovered the damaged Tricolour, cut with scissors from his cupboard.

The villagers alleged that complaints had been received against the headmaster earlier also saying he imposed restrictions on children performing Saraswati puja in the school together.

(With inputs from IANS)