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An Indian national working for state bank DBS has just been arrested for defacing the Singapore flag. According to state media Straits Times, Avijit Das Patnaik posted a photo of the Singapore flag being ripped apart to reveal the India national flag on Tuesday (Aug 14).

Avijit, who have held the Singapore permanent residency for over a decade, wrote “Phir bhi dil hai…”, which translates to “Still my heart is…” on the post to express his patriotism for his motherland India.

The Indian national has since been arrested after police reports were made against the offensive photo showing a ripped Singapore flag.

When approached by media reporters, the Indian national did not express his patriotism for India and instead defended himself saying that he love Singapore “deeply” and “often singing praises about Singapore”:

“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. I love Singapore deeply and am always singing 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.”

The Singapore permanent resident posted the photo a day before the Indian Independence Day on Aug 15, as part of a celebration of his Indian identity.

Every year, Singapore imports about 25,000 foreigners from third world countries to be permanent residents (PRs). PRs do not need to serve military conscription and enjoy the same rights as a Singapore citizen.

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