New Delhi: Jawaharlal Nehru University students union president Kanhaiya Kumar, who was charged with sedition and later granted an interim bail for six months, on Friday said Kashmir was an integral part of India.
Kanhaiya, against whom sedition charges were slapped for raising "anti-India" slogans, had raised a furore on March 08 by saying that in Kashmir, women are raped by security personnel. He had faced flak over his statement and the BJP’s youth wing filed a police complaint over his alleged defiance of bail conditions by making “anti-national” statements.
“There is no doubt that Kashmir is an integral part of India. And since Kashmiris are Indians, we can always discuss their issues.”
Kanhaiya Kumar, who was charged with sedition, denied supporting Kashmiri militant Afzal Guru, who was hanged for his role in the terror attack on the Indian parliament, but said he opposed capital punishment.
“Our protest (on February 9) 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.
(With Agency inputs)