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Anna distances himself from Prashant Bhushan’s view on Kashmir

October 14
03:03 2011

RALEGAN SIDDHI/NEW DELHI: Distancing himself from Prashant Bhushan’s views on Jammu and Kashmir, Anna Hazare today said they will decide whether he should continue in the team.

However, Team Anna claimed that Hazare has never said that Prashant Bhushan should be removed from the Core Committee.

“Woh aage jaake hum log tay karenge, rakhna (hai) nahi rakhna (We will decide later whether he will be in the team),” Hazare told reporters in his native Ralegan Siddhi.

He was responding to a question whether Bhushan, a key aide of Hazare in his fight for a strong Lokpal law, will remain part of the Team Anna.

“Whatever views he has articulated, that is not right,” he said, two days after Bhushan was attacked by three youths of a right-wing in his chamber in New Delhi for advocating plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir.

A meeting of Team Anna’s core committee was held here earlier in the day. However, Hazare and Bedi, who is presently in Amsterdam, did not attend the meeting due to their preoccupations.

“Bhushan’s statement (on Kashmir) is not the views of the team. He has never asked the team. These are his personal views. The team is not responsible for the comments. We are not in agreement with him,” Hazare said, adding “We didn’t like this (statement). It is not our view.”

Hazare said Kashmir is an integral part of the country and he would do whatever he could do for the state. “Kashmir is an integral part of the country and it will remain so and we will have to do whatever we have to ensure this. This mindless argument on the issue should stop.”
The 74-year-Gandhian said Bhushan should seek permission for airing views on behalf of the team. “But for personal comments, what is the need for permission,” he said.

Yesterday, Bedi said the remarks made by Bhushan were his personal views. “This is Bhushan’s personal view. I am for better governance and people integration of Jammu and Kashmir,” Bedi, who is currently in Amsterdam, had said.

Activist Swami Agnivesh, who was earlier associated with Team Anna, said dissenting voices should not be silenced by the use of force though he was for upholding Jammu and Kashmir’s integration with India as full and final.

“Citizens should uphold Jammu and Kashmir’s integration with India as full and final. There can be no going back to pre-1947 situation. There can be no situation in which any part of the Indian territory or people can be allowed to secede,” Agnivesh said.

He said the government and political parties should unitedly come up with a time-bound action plan to fully integrate PoK with India.

“The large-scale presence of Chinese troops in PoK should be taken as a threat to India’s overarching sovereignty. This threat must be dealt with all the seriousness it deserves and earnestly.

“At the same time we must ensure that human rights of our people living in Jammu and Kashmir are not violated.

Dissenting voices of certain individuals or groups as long as they are being raised through non-violent and constitutional methods should not be silenced by the use of force,” he said. -PTI

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