Kerala Governor slams KT Jaleel over controversial statement on Kashmir

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KT Jaleel

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan raised sharp criticism against LDF MLA and former minister KT Jaleel over his controversial statement on Kashmir. The Governor said that Jaleel’s statement surprised him and that it was unacceptable by all means.

‘I do not view the statements as coincidental or unexpected. It is not clear whether such a remark came after checking history or because of pure ignorance,’ the Governor said.

The Governor further said, "Do we not realise the preciousness of our freedom? Do we not realise the importance of our national integrity? How can we afford to say things like this?"

Meanwhile, Jaleel cancelled his events in New Delhi and returned to Kerala on Sunday morning after reports of probable protests against him.

Several people had come out against the Facebook post in which Jaleel used the terms "Azad Kashmir" and "India-occupied Kashmir."

The ruling CPM has distanced itself from the former minister's remarks, saying they were not the party's view.

Senior Marxist party leader and Minister M V Govindan had on Saturday said that what Jaleel had said was not the CPM's view and the Left party has a clear stand on India and Kashmir.

After his remarks kicked up a row, Jaleel withdrew his statement and at the same time claimed that the same was misinterpreted.

"I have only sympathy for those who don't understand the meaning of "Azad Kashmir" when it is written in double inverted commas," Jaleel had said in a Malayalam FB post after withdrawing his earlier controversial remarks.

However, he kept mum on the other comment: "Indian adheena Jammu and Kashmir" (India-Occupied Jammu and Kashmir)" in his explanatory note.

Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said that the Kerala government should not think that making Jaleel withdraw his comments was the end of the matter.

Speaking to reporters in the state, Muraleedharan said that BJP will take the issue forward till a permanent solution is found.

Meanwhile, a complaint has been made to the Thiruvananthapuram City Police Commissioner by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) seeking strict action against the MLA for his remarks.

The complaint by ABVP state secretary N C T Sreehari was sent to the police commissioner on August 12, the day the controversial remarks were made by Jaleel on his Facebook page.

The complainant has contended that the remarks are allegedly anti-national as they would adversely impact the unity of the nation.

(With inputs from PTI)

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