Arundhati refuses to express regret over Kashmir statement

Writer-activist Arundhati Roy, who on Sunday faced the ire of Sangh Parivar activists here, refused to express regret over her recent controversial statement on Kashmir.

Updated: Nov 21, 2010, 23:31 PM IST

Bhubaneswar: Writer-activist Arundhati Roy,
who on Sunday faced the ire of Sangh Parivar activists here,
refused to express regret over her recent controversial
statement on Kashmir.

"I have never said anything which I have not thought
about," Roy told reporters after attending a meeting on
"Cultural resistance to war on people in corporate interest",
organised by a magazine considered to be pro-left.

Standing by her statement on Kashmir, Roy said, "They
(Sangh Parivar activists) have rights to protest and I have
rights to speak and write."

The high profile writer and activist had kicked up a
storm last month by making a statement at a seminar in
Srinagar that Kashmir was never an integral part of India.

Roy`s visit to the city and presence at the meeting
sparked a scuffle as RSS and ABVP activists staged a black
flag demonstration at the venue. They asked Roy to quit the
state immediately after dubbing her as an "anti-national."

At least five people were injured in a clash between
Sangh Parivar activists and the meeting organisers.

"We are opposing the visit of Roy in view of the
objectionable statement she made recently on Kashmir. We have
nothing against the meeting but she should go back," ABVP`s
state executive member Ajay Kumar Rout said.

He said the saffron brigade would stage similar protests
wherever Roy goes during her visit here.

Heated argument between the two sides soon led to a
clash in which sticks and stones were used leaving at least
five people injured, police sources said.

The situation was controlled after police swung into
action dispersing the demonstrators. About eight of them were
arrested, deputy commissioner of police H K Lal said.

PTI