Heated exchanges at panel discussion over Kashmir


Bengaluru: With a panel discussion here over the Kashmir issue witnessing heated exchanges and alleged raising of pro-Kashmir ’Independence’ slogans, Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara on Sunday said the intention and background of those involved will be investigated.

"It is not clear whether they were students, I have got information that some people were involved in sloganeering. I have asked (police) to conduct inquiry and find out about their background," Home Minister G Parameshwara told reporters here.

Stating that the Police Commissioner has been asked to look into the intentions of those involved and about their involvement in anti-national activity of any kind, he said "if there is larger perspective, national investigating agencies will be informed and they will also look into (the matter)."

"Some information is that they may be refugees residing here, but what was their intention, who provoked them, why did they do it, need to be inquired into," he said.

A panel discussion yesterday had turned chaotic as some "pro-freedom" Kashmiris, most of them youngsters and students, entered into heated arguments with a Kashmiri Pandit leader for hailing the Indian Army. The event was organised by Amnesty International India at United Theological College here.

DCP North Bengaluru T R Suresh said "We have received a complaint (from ABVP), we have also been given a CD, we will look into it and take action in accordance with law."

Bengaluru: A panel discussion in Bengaluru turned chaotic on Saturday, as some “pro-freedom” Kashmiris entered into heated arguments with a Kashmiri Pandit leader for hailing the Indian Army.

The chaos took place soon after R K Mattoo, Kashmiri Pandit leader and former journalist, said, “Army is present everywhere in the North-East, Kashmir and other sundry places. I can tell you proudly that the Indian army is one of the disciplined army in the world.”

The “pro-freedom” Kashmiris objected to Mattoo’s remarks, leading to heated exchange of words took place, which eventually resulted in panelists appealing to the contending parties in the hall to maintain silence.

However, the police posted at the event had to intervene to douse the raging anger between the two sides.

After the situation was brought under control, Mattoo urged the Amnesty International to highlight the sufferings of Kashmiri Pundits, whose problems have never been highlighted or taken up by any international agencies.

Mattoo said it is not the story of the sufferings of the Muslim “brothers” alone in Kashmir but also Kashmiri Pandits who have been victims of terrorism.

“We are sufferers and you (Muslim brothers) are the sufferers. Please don’t allow people from across the border Pakistan to take advantage of us,” he said during the panel discussion organised by United Theological Society in Bengaluru.

“We have been suffering as refugees for the last 27 years,” Mattoo said.

“Like the Muslim brothers even the Kashmiri Pandits have suffered and have been hounded out of the Kashmir in January 1990, Mattoo said.

He said 800-odd Kashmiri Pandits, including women and children, were killed brutally by terrorists, but not a single FIR was registered against anybody.

Mattoo further lamented that the perpetrators of the atrocities including JKLF chief Yasin Malik are roaming free.

“So, this is not the story about Muslim brothers, but also Kashmiri Pandits who suffered in one stroke and lost 800-odd people but we left everything there and fled,” he said.

“Today we are settled all over the world. Only thing is we have lost our homeland which we are going to go back. We are not going leave it like that,” he said.

Soon after the panel discussion, the “pro-freedom” Kashmirs raised slogans and left the venue.


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