Kanhaiya Kumar : Kashmir an integral part of India
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.
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