JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar, who is facing sedition charges, said on Friday that the controversial event held on February 9 on the university campus was to protest against capital punishment and not in support of Kashmir’s secession.
Emphasizing that there was ‘no doubt Kashmir was an integral part of India’, Kumar denied of raising slogans in support of executed parliament attack convict Afzal Guru but said he was against capital punishment. He added that even he would oppose capital punishment even if it was awarded to an ABVP activist.
"There is no doubt that Kashmir is an integral part of India. And since Kashmiris are Indians, we can always discuss their issues." Kumar said at the India Today Conclave.
Clarifying his stand on the Kashmir issue, Kumar said the JNU provides a conducive atmosphere for debate and discussion and that it was not in the university’s culture to stop anyone from conveying their thoughts.
Kumar was arrested on February 12 on sedition charges for allegedly raising anti-national slogans and was later let out on six-month bail. A probe panel constituted by the university recently issued show cause notices to JNU students including Kumar who were involved in the February 9 event.
Apart from Kumar, two other JNU students, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, were also accused of sedition and arrested.
On Friday, both Bhattacharya and Khalid were also granted six-month interim bail by a Delhi court.
A former Delhi University professor, SAR Geelani, was also arrested by the police on charges of sedition for holding an event at the Delhi Press Club allegedly to protest the 2013 hanging of Afzal Guru.
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