Kashmir is an integral part of India and so Indians can discuss the issues pertaining to Kashmiris at any forum, JNU Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar said on Friday.
Speaking at the India Today conclave, Kanhaiya Kumar 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 supporting the executed Kashmiri militant Afzal Guru for his role in the terror attack on 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,” he said. “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.
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.
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.
A new complaint against Kumar was filed for his remarks on March 9 during a Women’s Day speech late on March 8.
“No matter how much you try to stop us, we will speak up against human rights violations. We will raise our voice against AFSPA. While we have a lot of respect for our soldiers, we will still talk about the fact that in Kashmir women are raped by security personnel,” Kumar reportedly said while addressing students during the event.