“Kashmir is an integral part of India”, said Kanhaiya Kumar
JNU Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar, charged of sedition for raising “anti-India” slogans, during the India Today conclave said that Kashmir is an integral part of India and so Indians can discuss the issues pertaining to Kashmiris at any forum.
He said, “There is no doubt that Kashmir is an integral part of India. And since Kashmiris are Indians, we can always discuss their issues.”
Kumar denied of supporting the executed Kashmiri militant Afzal Guru for his role in parliament attack, but said he firmly opposes capital punishment.
“The Febryary 9 protest was against capital punishment and not in support of Afzal,” added the JNU union president.
He added if any ABVP activist was awarded punishment capital he would then to oppose it.
“JNU culture promotes debate and discussion. It is not our culture to stop people from putting their point of view,” said Kumar.
Replying to a question on why he did not stop people from raising anti-India slogan at the university campus Kumar said, “Neither I nor All India Student’s Federation (AISF) supported anti-India slogans or Kashmir’s secession.”
On being asked if he had raised slogans against the Indian Army’s alleged atrocities in Kashmir, Kumar’s deputy in the JNU student’s union, Sheela Rashid, a Kashmiri woman, backed him.
She said, “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 that Armed Forces Special Powers Act provides to the soldiers.”
Rashid also stated that even as a Kashmiri, who have a very hostile image of India, she began to have faith in the Indian democratic institution 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.