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Discussion on sexual violence in Kashmir cancelled after BJP legislator calls it anti-national

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Discussion on sexual violence in Kashmir cancelled after BJP legislator calls it anti-national

Mumbai: A discussion organised by the Dr Ambedkar Centre For Social Justice of Mumbai University on ‘Military Occupation in Kashmir and Sexual Violence on Kashmiri Women’ was cancelled after the issue was raised in the Maharashtra Assembly, India Today reported.

Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Atul Bhatkhalkar raised this issue in the Assembly. Criticising the theme of the discussion, he said that Kashmir belonged to India and the Army was there to protect the country’s interests. “This theme is serious and anti-national,” he said demanding its cancellation.

Education Minister Vinod Tawde announced that the government would ask the Governor, who is the Chancellor of the university, to direct the vice-chancellor to hold an inquiry into the issue.

Tawde said the university is autonomous and the Ambedkar Centre is independent. “If government interferes, these organisations allege that it is a breach of freedom of speech. Some people malign the Army in the garb of human rights. But this is an important issue, and the government will ask the governor to look into it and direct the vice-chancellor to take necessary action,” he said.

A seminar in the college on ‘Disparity, Discrimination, Deprivation and the Idea of Social Justice’ had session on the topic “Military Occupation in Kashmir: Sexual Violence on Kashmiri Women” that was subsequently cancelled, government sources said.