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Sikh body demands implementation of Inter-Caste Marriage Act, anti-conversion law in J&K

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Srinagar: A Sikh organisation here on Wednesday demanded the implementation of the Inter-Caste Marriage Act and the enactment of an anti-conversion law in Jammu and Kashmir.

This comes amid a row over the allegations of “forced conversion” of four women from the Sikh community to Islam in the union territory.

“I, on the behalf of the Sikh community, would request that the Inter Caste Marriage Act is implemented in Jammu & Kashmir. Once this Act is put in practice at this place, the inter-caste marriages would come to an end automatically,” All Parties Sikh Coordination Committee (APSCC) chairman Jagmohan Singh Raina told reporters here.

Raina, also a senior office-bearer of the Apni Party, said these laws would safeguard the interests of the people belonging to different faiths and religions.

“The elements who want to take mileage out of such marriages would also face an inevitable defeat,” he added.

Raina said that over the years, the members of elite political families of Jammu and Kashmir have entered into inter-caste marriage but nobody pointed fingers at them.

“Whenever such an incident happens in a normal (ordinary) family, the issue gets blown out of proportion. This needs to be analyzed and people should be vigilant so that the opportunistic politicians don’t exploit them,” he said.

“At the same time, it is also important that Anti-Conversion law is implemented in Jammu & Kashmir. This would stop the forcible conversion of people belonging to any religion whatsoever. As a result of the same, the friction between the different communities would also come to an end once for all. There would be no tensions between the communities and all the people would live without fear,” he said.

Raina also said the Sikh community in Jammu & Kashmir has been living in harmony with the majority Muslim community. “Over the years many attempts were made to create a wedge between the two communities by the vested interests. However, the nefarious designs got defeated due to the strong bond that exists between the two communities,” he said.

He said since some unfortunate incidents came to the fore in the recent past “it is important that both Muslims and Sikhs maintain the communal harmony and brotherhood. The people need to remain vigilant and ensure that the congenial atmosphere does not get vitiated.

“Since both the communities have supported each other through thick and thin, it is the responsibility of members of both communities to continue with the synergy,” he added.

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