ISLAMABAD: Mysterious banners hailing New Delhi’s decision to revoke the special status of India-held Kashmir and carrying warnings about Balochistan were removed from some roads of the federal capital on Tuesday.

Police picked up a man in Blue Area late in the evening and detained him at Kohsar police station for further action.

Over a dozen such banners were seen along roads in F-6 Sector, officials of the capital administration said, adding that these went unnoticed for a long time before some passers-by spotted them and informed police who took down the banners.

The district magistrate, Islamabad, also ordered an inquiry as to why the banners, which were displayed on roads in front of Press Club, Sector F-6 and Abpara Chowk, were removed after a delay of “almost five hours”.

The banners carried a map envisioning “Akhand Bharat” (undivided India) showing parts of the present-day states of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, officials said. A message was printed on behalf of an unknown outfit, Akhand Bharat Real Terror, claiming “Maha-Bharat A Step Forward”.

“The panaflex carries a photo of a tweet,’’ they stated. It read: “Shiv Sena in Rajya Sabha: Aaj Jammu & Kashmir liya hai. Kal Balochistan, POK lenge. Mujhe vishwaas hai desh ke PM akhand Hindustan ka sapna poora karenge”.

The inscription, roughly translated, means “Today we have taken Jammu and Kashmir. Tomorrow it will be Balochistan and POK (a reference to Azad Kashmir). I am confident that the Indian PM will realise our dream of a ‘greater India’.

According to an official, preliminary investigations revealed that two persons riding a motorcycle appeared in F-6 Sector early on Tuesday morning and strung the panaflexes over poles. The action was captured by cameras of the Safe City Project.

It also came to the notice of officials monitoring through cameras from the project’s office. An officer of the capital administration told Dawn that despite noticing the activity, the officials at the Safe City Project did not inform police.

Published in Dawn, August 7th, 2019

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