Bengaluru: After surprising everyone with the abrogation of Articles 35A and 370, Union home minister may spring another surprise as reports suggest that he might hoist the tricolour at the historic Lal Chowk in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, on the occasion of Independence Day.

Though there is no official confirmation about it, high security is being put in place.

If Shah does go ahead and unfurl the flag, he will be one more in the list of those who dared to take up the venture.

Jawarharlal Nehru, the first prime minister, was the first to hoist the flag in the year 1948 after India’s independence. Later, other BJP stalwarts like Murli Manohar Joshi and Narendra Modi (the current PM) also hoisted by the flag in the year 1992 when the tensions between the two nations had escalated.

National security advisor Ajit Doval has been camping in the union territory, overseeing the security arrangements in the wake of the abrogation and the preparations for Independence Day. Several videos of the advisors roaming on the streets, having food and taking part in sheep rearing, have gone viral.


Lal Chowk, in literal terms, means Red Square. The place was christened so by left-wing activists who fought the king of Kashmir Maharaja Hari Singh. When Nehru hoisted the flag in 1948 here, he even promised them a plebiscite to choose their political future.

In the year 1980, Bajaj Electricals built a clock tower here. In the year 1992, it shot to prominence when BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi hoisted the flag atop this tower. It is said that this act united the militant groups against the Union of India.

In 2011, as a retaliation to separatists hoisting Pakistan flag at Lal Chowk, the youth wing of the BJP too wanted to hoist the Indian flag, but the governments of the day at the Centre and the state did not allow it to happen, with fears of clashes.