New Delhi : Bollywood veteran actor Anupam Kher, who was today stopped on way to Srinagar’s National Institute of Technology (NIT) by the Jammu and Kashmir Police, said that his visit should not be politicised as he was going there not to create problems but to give a sense of warmth to the students.
“If they say this is a law and order situation, I will say that millions of people go to the university, it’s an open place. Why should they stop me and as a citizen of this country I should be allowed to go anywhere. I am not going there to create problem. I am just going there to give them a sense of warmth,” Kher told ANI in an exclusive conversation.
“Anybody who talks in favour of things they become rhetoric and anybody who talks against the nation becomes news. I think we need to change that. It is always good to go back to Kashmir but today the purpose is different. Today the purpose is to meet the NIT Srinagar students to boost their morale. And as an individual, as an India I want to do that. We are at that time when some individual are saying things like ‘desh ki barbaadi’ etc. So, it is important to become voice of millions of Indians,” he added.
The actor further said that he would also like to meet Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to express his concern over the NIT unrest.
“Sometimes things are symbolic. I believe in doing things rather than talking about it. I will also like to meet Mehbooba Mufti ji,” he said.
Kher categorically denied that he has connections with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“I have a very good relationship with Ghulam Nabi Azad ji. I appreciate (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi ji because he is a great leader. I don’t want to criticise any government,” he said.
Kher had earlier said that he was visiting the NIT to express solidarity and provide moral support to the students.
“I am visiting there at a personal level. It’s a symbolic gesture as it is most important to show them solidarity. It’s important to give NIT Srinagar students’ moral support. I’m going there as a citizen to meet students,” Kher told ANI here.
“I am not going to flare-up this issue. I will visit there as a citizen, I don’t have any political fan following. I will also try to meet Mehbooba ji. I have not informed anyone, I have no security arrangements, I am going as a passenger,” he added.
Asserting that safety of students was her prime concern, Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Smriti Irani had earlier this week said that her ministry officials will ensure that all of their issues are looked into while.
A fact-finding team of the HRD Ministry visited the institute’s campus earlier on Wednesday for an on the spot assessment of the situation.
The two-member team comprising a Director level and a Deputy Secretary level officer also spoke to the students to get their version of the events.
Tension simmered at the NIT campus last week after India lost the World T20 semi-final to the West Indies.
Some engineering students from outside the state claimed Kashmiri students had chanted anti-India slogans and burst firecrackers after India’s defeat. (ANI)