Centre letting separatists `promote` sedition: BJP

Taking serious exception to the demand for secession of Kashmir made at a seminar here, BJP on Friday accused the Centre of looking the other way while "unacceptable" views were aired in the name of freedom of speech.

Last Updated: Oct 22, 2010, 12:17 PM IST

New Delhi: Taking serious exception to the demand for secession of Kashmir made at a seminar here, BJP on Friday accused the Centre of looking the other way while "unacceptable" views were aired in the name of freedom of speech.

"What happened in Delhi yesterday when a group of separatists got together to hold a seminar to promote sedition under the nose of the government has stunned the nation. In a democracy, the right to secede cannot be accepted in the garb of right to free speech," Arun Jaitley, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, told a news agency.

The BJP leader said the right to free speech enshrined in the Constitution cannot be used against the country.
Criticising the government for not taking any preventive measures or punishing the guilty, he said, "There are two responsibilities and obligations of the state -- to
prevent such events and to punish the offenders. The government exercised the option of looking the other way which is not available to it."

Hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Kashmiri separatists as well as Naxal and Khalistan sympathisers came together yesterday under one platform to
demand independence for Kashmir at a seminar `Azadi--The Only Way`.

PTI