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Indian Army cancels seminar on uniform civil code in Kashmir amid criticism

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The Indian Army has announced the cancellation of a planned seminar on the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in Kashmir, citing the implementation of the Model Code of Conduct.

Titled ‘Navigating Legal Frontiers: Understanding Indian Penal Code 2023 and the Quest for Uniform Civil Code’, the seminar was scheduled to take place at Kashmir University on March 26. Chief Justice Kotishwar Singh of the Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court was expected to be the chief guest, with Major General PBS Lamba, General Officer Commanding (GoC) HQ 31 Sub Area, extending the invitation. Among the speakers was J&K law secretary Achal Sethi.

The seminar aimed to discuss various topics related to the UCC, including its challenges and benefits, its alignment with secularism, its potential impact on social harmony, and necessary reforms in family and inheritance laws.

However, the proposed event faced criticism from former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah.

Abdullah questioned the appropriateness of the Indian Army's involvement in the divisive issue of the UCC, particularly in a sensitive region like Kashmir. He expressed concerns that such involvement could compromise the apolitical and areligious nature of the army.

Mufti echoed similar sentiments, stating that while the Indian military is known for its discipline, the seminar's organization suggested the infiltration of religious issues into sacred institutions due to the politicization of religion by the BJP.

PDP spokesperson Najmus Saqib remarked that the seminar highlighted the blurred lines between politics and the security apparatus in Jammu and Kashmir.

In response to the criticism and in adherence to the Model Code of Conduct, the Army Public Relations Officer announced the cancellation of the seminar.

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TAGS:KashmirIndian ArmyUniform Civil Code
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