Interior Minister Vlaho Orepic said on Saturday that historians and the judiciary should take a clear view on the Ustasha salute "For the homeland ready" and that said view should be "positioned" in the law.
"Police action during the marking of the anniversary of Operation Storm had two objectives - protecting the dignity of Operation Storm and protecting public interest and public peace and order. Both objectives were achieved. The attempts of political appropriation and the exhibitionism that was noticed I reject with abhorrence. They are uncivilised, primitive and damage Croatia," Orepic told N1 TV.
He was commenting on the shouting of the Ustasha salute "For the homeland ready" in Knin on Friday after the official part of a celebration of Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving Day and Croatian Veterans Day and at a concert there later in the evening.
As for dilemmas expressed in the media as to whether chanting "For the homeland ready" was a crime or an offence, Orepic said historians and the judiciary should say that by taking a clear position. "Because of controversial interpretations, I think it's essential to clearly position that in the law."
"Nothing can cast a shadow on a magnificent atmosphere and victory. We will always have exhibitionists on the fringes of that event, but that can't sully the reputation of Operation Storm and the people," Orepic said.
As for the ban of a protest against celebrating Operation Storm in Zagreb on Thursday, Orepic said he personally banned it "because its goal was to belittle Storm, and hiding behind some associations or denying others their rights because of what one wants for oneself is inappropriate."
He said the police told the organisers that they could protest two days before or after the operation's anniversary, August 5. "But acts of provocation are unacceptable."