“Torn flag” Indian PR no longer with DBS bank

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Avijit Das Patnaik “is no longer with the bank”, a statement by DBS bank said on Tuesday. Mr Avijit is a Singapore permanent resident who was in the news earlier this month for posting a photo of a t-shirt with the Singapore flag ripped in two, revealing an India flag underneath.

Mr Avijit’s post was accompanied with the caption: ‘Phir bhi dil hai…’ (Still my heart is…).

The post, which was made a day before India’s independence day and posted on the Singapore Indians & Expats Facebook page, quickly went viral and caused an uproar, especially online.

Singaporeans were outraged at the disrespect paid to the national flag. In Singapore, such desecration of the national emblem is against the law.

The post has since been removed, and the police said it is investigating the incident.

DBS, which is Mr Avijit’s employer, said he “was counselled in connection with a post showing a T-shirt, with a picture of a Singapore flag being torn, revealing an Indian flag underneath.”

“DBS strongly disapproves of such actions by our employees,” the bank said in its statement which was posted on its Facebook page. “At the same time, it is fair and right that all employees are given the benefit of due process.”

“Since the incident, a disciplinary committee has been convened and as of 24 August, he is no longer with the bank.”

DBS does not say whether Mr Avijit was sacked or had resigned from his job.

Mr Avijit had earlier apologised and said he did not mean to offend anyone.

“I did not design the image and had already seen it being circulated widely, which is why I assumed it was okay for me to post the image,” Mr Avijit, who has been living in Singapore for 10 years, said.

“I love Singapore deeply and am always signing praises about this country, so my intention was never to cause so much grievance. I just felt that the image represented that deep inside, the heart also beats for our motherland,” he said.