Kan­haiya Ku­mar : Kash­mir an in­te­gral part of In­dia

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Speak­ing at the re­cent Con­clave 2016, Kan­haiya said: "There is no doubt that Kash­mir is an in­te­gral part of In­dia. And since Kash­miris are In­di­ans, we can al­ways dis­cuss their is­sues." Kash­mir is an in­te­gral part of In­dia and there­fore, In­di­ans have the right to dis­cuss the is­sues per­tain­ing to Kash­miris at any fo­rum, JNU Stu­dents Union pres­i­dent Kan­haiya Ku­mar said today. Kan­haiya said: "There is no doubt that Kash­mir is an in­te­gral part of In­dia. And since Kash­miris are In­di­ans, we can al­ways dis­cuss their is­sues." Kan­haiya, who was charged with sedi­tion, de­nied sup­port­ing Afzal Guru, a Kash­miri who was hanged for his role in the ter­ror at­tack on Par­lia­ment. "It pains me to say that but it is a fact that there are al­le­ga­tions against the In­dian Army of rap­ing women in Kash­mir. But we are not able to do much about them be­cause of the im­punity that Armed Forces Spe­cial Pow­ers Act pro­vides to the sol­diers," Rashid said, ap­peal­ing es­pe­cially to the women in the au­di­ence to come to terms with the al­le­ga­tion. Rashid fur­ther said that even as a Kash­miri, who have a very hos­tile im­age of In­dia, she be­gan to have faith in the In­dian demo­cratic in­sti­tu­tions af­ter she joined the JNU. "For a Kash­miri who boy­cott elec­tions in the Val­ley to fight an elec­tion in JNU was a big leap of faith, and I am glad I made it," she said. Kan­haiya also de­fended the Fe­bru­ary 9 event on the cam­pus by say­ing peo­ple should have a right to op­pose cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment. "Our protest was against cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment, not in sup­port of Afzal," he said, adding that even if an ABVP ac­tivist was given cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment, he would op­pose it. "The JNU cul­ture pro­motes de­bate and dis­cus­sion. It is not our cul­ture to stop peo­ple from speak­ing or putting forth their point of view, even if we do not agree with it," he added. Asked why he did not stop peo­ple from rais­ing anti-In­dia slo­gans at the JNU cam­pus on Fe­bru­ary 9, he said nei­ther he or nor his All In­dia Stu­dents Fed­er­a­tion (AISF) sup­ported anti-In­dia slo­gans or Kash­mir's se­ces­sion. When ABVP's Saurabh Sharma, also the joint-sec­re­tary in the JNU Stu­dents Union, con­tested Kan­haiya's claim that he was not present in the Afzal Guru event, Kan­haiya asked him to pro­duce any ev­i­dence he has to the court. Kan­haiya is cur­rently out on a six­month in­terim bail in the sedi­tion case along with fel­low JNU stu­dents Umar Khalid and Anir­ban Bhat­tacharya, who, in­ci­den­tally, also got their bail today. It was a fiery de­bate at the Con­clave today with Kan­haiya and Rashid tak­ing on a three-mem­ber ABVP panel, which also in­cluded ABVP's me­dia con­vener Saket Bahuguna and Mi­randa House vice-pres­i­dent Ma­hamedha Na­gar. "You may not agree with my pol­i­tics. It is not about JNU only. The uni­ver­si­ties are be­ing at­tacked across the coun­try," said Ku­mar.

(G.R. KHAT­TAR) Mob.: 9711672876 Web­site: www.busi­ness­sphere.in

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