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Protests outside Oppo unit after flag tearing charge

Workers allege that one of their Chinese colleagues tore and threw Indian Flag on factory premises

Arnab Dutta  |  New Delhi 

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The Noida unit of Chinese mobile phone manufacturer Oppo was besieged by protests for hours on Tuesday after workers alleged that one of their senior colleagues from China tore and threw the Indian National Flag on the factory premises. The incident allegedly took place on Monday night. Uttar Pradesh police has started investigating the incident. “We are getting the CCTV footage of that place where the alleged incident occurred and will form charges under the Flag Acts,” Dinesh Yadav, superintendent of police, Noida, told Business Standard. Hoisting and use (including misuse and insult) of the National Flag is regulated by the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950, the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971, and the Flag Code of India. On Tuesday, manufacturing activity was interrupted at the Oppo unit because of the protests. Several other offices in the vicinity also shut down anticipating trouble. Police was deployed to control the crowd and took up the case later, after a group of workers lodged a complaint against the official concerned. According to the workers, the official dumped the National Flag, hoisted inside the factory, in a dustbin, after tearing it.

Sources said company officials reached out to the chief minister’s office in Lucknow, seeking help, as the situation remained tense for hours. A group of workers had reached the hotel where the Chinese official was staying, but were removed from the area in the afternoon. The facility at Noida, Sector 63, was set up recently. Oppo manufactures handsets here for local consumption. After entering the domestic market in early 2014, Oppo has expanded operations rapidly, becoming the fourth-biggest player, with 8.6 per cent market share, according to latest data from analyst IDC. India operations are crucial to Oppo’s future growth plans. Its home market is slowing. To strengthen its brand, the company recently acquired sponsorship rights in the national cricket team for five years, in a Rs 1,079-crore deal.

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First Published: Tue, March 28 2017. 23:10 IST
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