A leading apex court lawyer, Prashant Bushan is a well respect social activist who is also member of the Anna Hazare team. Though he had his own views on Kashmir but these would rarely get attention but after he became part of the Anna team, the society in the plains has started taking him seriously. In fact, part of the society has turned restive and started resorting to violence.
Recently in Varanasi, Bushan said: “My belief is that we should try to normalise the situation in Kashmir, remove the army, get rid off AFSPA and should try to win the hearts and minds of the Kashmiri people. If even then they (Kashmiris) continue to say they want to be separated, we should allow a plebiscite and if that comes out and they still want to separate, then we should allow them to separate.”
Back in Delhi, the lawyer was in his chambers and talking to a news channel when three young men barged in and beat him up mercilessly. He was assaulted, kicked, dragged down his chair, slapped and his shirt was torn. They claimed they were members of Bhagat Singh Krnati Sena and were reacting to his Kashmir statement. Attackers had circulated some pamphlets saying: “Kashmir hamara tha, hamara hai and hamara rahega (Kashmir was ours, is ours and will remain ours). If you will try to break my nation, I will break your head.” Post-attack, two escaped and a third one Indravir Verma was caught by the lawyers and handed over to the police.
But Bhushan stood his ground. “If defending a victim of police atrocity is seditious, then I am happy to be called one. I have no regrets on my remarks on Kashmir. Those are my views,” Bhushan later said. “If they oppose my views on Kashmir they can certainly oppose the same, but they are not entitled to come and beat me up or intimidate me.”
Insisting that Kashmir issue needs early, amicable and political settlement, Bhushan believes that leaving it unresolved could lead to “enormous alienation” among the people of Kashmir which can have “frightful consequences in the future.” He says terming his statement seditious is absurdity because “Jawaharlal Nehru, our Prime Minister solemnly went and assured the United Nations that there should be a plebiscite and he would have a plebiscite in Kashmir.”
“I don’t have any regrets,” Bhushan said. “I realise that those views are the minority views in the country today.” He, however, said he is not speaking on behalf of Team Anna.
This was not for the first time that the people supporting Kashmir have faced violent attacks.