HC censures UP govt over name change of Kargil martyr's memorial

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Lucknow, Nov 22 (UNI) Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court today indicted the Uttar Pradesh government for changing the name of the 101 acre 'Smriti Van' -- developed in the memory of Kargil martyrs -- to Manyawar Kanshiram Smriti Van.

Hearing a PIL challenging the name change, the High Court sought clarification from the Uttar Pradesh government.

A division bench comprising Justices Amarnath and S N Shukla noted that the state government could develop 'Smriti Van', but could not change its name.

The Court passed this order on the PIL filed by Ashok Yadav Dev.

The court has fixed December 4 for next hearing.

The Chief Standing Counsel has been directed to apprise the court of the logic and underlying law forming the basis of name change.

The petitioner alleged that 'Smriti Van' was developed as a tribute to Kargil martyrs and a rock inscription carried the name of all the Kargil martyrs.

However, its name was being illegally changed to Manyawar Kanshiram Smriti Van for political reasons.

The step has hurt the sentiments of the countrymen, the PIL alleged.

Taking a serious note of the matter, the apex court also directed the petitioner's counsel to mention the amendment relating to the name change in the PIL and also implead Lucknow Development Authority (LDA).

The Bench observed that a soldier only belonged to his country and had little to do with caste or politics. Therefore, it was not pertinent for the state government to change the memorial's name.

UNI

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