POLITICS

Kashmir An Integral Part Of India, So Is Gilgit-Baltistan: Mohan Bhagwat

11/10/2016 12:51 PM IST | Updated 11/10/2016 1:13 PM IST
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Danish Siddiqui / Reuters
Mohan Bhagwat, chief of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), gestures as he prays during a conclave on the outskirts of Pune, India, January 3, 2016.

Asserting that Pakistan was the key element behind instigating violence in the Kashmir Valley, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat on Tuesday sent a message to the hostile neighbour that Kashmir is an integral part of India and so is Gilgit-Baltistan.

Addressing RSS cadres who were sporting full pants, as the Sangh officially cast away its trademark khaki shorts, Bhagwat stated that the unrest in Kashmir is being induced from across the LoC.

"The country is growing. There are some countries in the world who don't want to see India progress. They at times get support from people within. Kashmir is a serious concern."

"The country is growing. There are some countries in the world who don't want to see India progress. They at times get support from people within. Kashmir is a serious concern. The commitment of our government is clear that Kashmir is an integral part of India and so is Gilgit-Baltistan," he said in his annual Vijayadashami speech at the Reshimbagh Ground here.

Emphasising that a large part of Kashmir is free of tension and violence, he called on the nation and the government to act against those indulging in violence.

Calling on ensuring that justice is delivered to the displaced Kashmiri Pandits, Bhagwat further said that forces across the border are encouraging separatist forces in Kashmir.

The chief also heaped praises on the Indian Army for the recent surgical strike in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, saying that India's reputation in the world has gone up because of what our Army did and lauder the Centre and defence personnel.

"The administrative leadership has done a commendable job. We must manage our borders very well. Some separatist forces create trouble in border states. But he way our government has dealt with the whole issue post Uri is a matter of great pride," he said.

However, he warned political parties not to cross limits while playing politics and said, "Make sure people are not pitted against each other."

Countless People Working For Cow Protection

Bhagwat also strongly backed "countless good people" working lawfully for cow protection and said they should not be compared with those creating trouble in its name, remarks that come against the backdrop of BJP facing flak over anti-Dalit violence by cow vigilantes.

"Countless good people are working for cow protection. The Jain society is totally devoted to it. These good people are working within the ambit of law and Constitution... Administration should see to it that those creating trouble should not be compared with cow protectors.

"There should be a distinction between the two. Trouble-makers try to separate this distinction and create a big nuisance," he said.

"Countless good people are working for cow protection. The Jain society is totally devoted to it. These good people are working within the ambit of law and Constitution."

Violence by some cow vigilantes targeting Dalits and Muslims had hit headlines weeks ago, prompting Prime Minister Narendra Modi to denounce them, saying 80 percent of them are involved in anti-social activities and running shops in the name of cow protection.

Bhagwat said if some incidents happen, then the government should enforce laws against those involved in them.

Apparently referring to flogging of Dalits by cow vigilantes in Una in Gujarat and similar incidents of violence, he said such incidents are shameful and should never happen.

There are some flaws in our society and there is discrimination as well, he said, adding that it is exploited by certain elements for their benefits.

Defending cow protection, he cited the directive principles of the Constitution also speaks in its favour and many states have laws, which have been there for long, in support of cow protection.

There is also law against cruelty to animals, he said, adding that cow protectors have agitated peacefully for the enforcement of these laws. "They have tried to work within the law."

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