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Character of Indian Army not to be changed: Govt

"There is no scope for controversy. The character of the Indian Army is not going to be changed," Pranab Mukherjee said.

india Updated: Feb 16, 2006 04:03 IST

Amid a raging controversy on the reported headcount of Muslims in the Armed Forces, government on Wednesday said the character of the Indian Army would not undergo a change even as Muslim bodies denounced parties opposing the move.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh declined to comment on the reported move, saying the government had already clarified its position.

However, Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee said there was no scope for controversy surrounding the headcount of Muslims and the Indian Armed Forces were totally "secular and apolitical."

"There is no scope for controversy. The character of the Indian Army is not going to be changed," he told reporters in Kolkata.

The Indian Army did not maintain any figure on the basis of caste, creed or religion and the survey by the committee was aimed at creating a database, he said.

"The Navy and the Air Force have already provided the data on the number of Muslims they have and we are taking up the survey in the Army, which had no such data till now," Mukherjee said.

First Published: Feb 16, 2006 04:03 IST