SINGAPORE: A man who posted an image of a torn Singapore flag on Facebook is no longer an employee of DBS Bank, the bank said on Tuesday (Aug 28).
Mr Avijit Das Patnaik had posted the picture on the Singapore Indians & Expats Facebook page on the eve of India’s Independence Day two weeks ago. The group has 11,000 members.
The post - which showed a picture of a T-shirt with a Singapore flag on it being ripped apart by a pair of hands to reveal an Indian flag underneath - was accompanied with the caption “Phir Bhi Dil Hai …” which roughly translates to “Still my heart is …” in Hindi.
The post went viral with many netizens commenting that it was offensive and insulting to Singapore. The post has since been taken down.
DBS said in a comment to complaints on its Facebook page on Aug 19 that Mr Patnaik had posted the image because he "wanted to show that even as he’s in Singapore, he remains Indian at heart".
"Upon realising the graphic was offensive, he took it down immediately," DBS said, adding that it had counselled Mr Patnaik.
On Tuesday, DBS released a statement on its Facebook page, saying that Mr Patnaik was no longer in its employ.
“DBS strongly disapproves of such actions by our employees. At the same time, it is fair and right that all employees are given the benefit of due process,” the bank said in a Facebook post.
“Since the incident, a disciplinary committee has been convened and as of 24 August, he is no longer with the bank.”
When questioned on the circumstances surrounding Mr Patnaik's departure, including whether he resigned or was sacked, a DBS spokesman declined to elaborate, saying: "We have nothing further to share beyond the post."
According to the Singapore Arms and Flag National Anthem Act, any person that treats the flag with disrespect may be fined a maximum of S$1,000.
The police confirmed with Channel NewsAsia that a report has been made and that investigations are underway.