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Kashmiri Hindu group sends legal notice to JNU Students’ Union over proposed effigy burning of Anand Ranganathan over his ‘Israel-like solution for Kashmir’ comment

The legal notice sent by Youth 4 Panun Kashmir to JNUSU says that this is intended to incite violence against the Kashmiri community and is a direct response to the misinterpretation of Ranganathan's comments from the podcast.

JNU professor and political commentator Anand Ranganathan is facing relentless attacks from Islamists after he suggested an ‘Israel-like solution’ for Kashmir. Following his comments on an ANI podcast, the JNU Students’ Union announced that it will burn the effigy of Ranganathan at 6 PM on 13 June near his laboratory in the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus. Now, a group called Youth 4 Panun Kashmir has sent a legal notice to JNUSU against this effigy burning.

Youth 4 Panun Kashmir is a worldwide movement of Kashmir Hindu Youths, which was established under the aegis of Panun Kashmir.

The legal notice sent by lawyers to the student organisation says that this is intended to incite violence against the Kashmiri community and is a direct response to the misinterpretation of Ranganathan’s comments from the podcast. The notice also mentions that the scientist has been incessantly targeted with numerous abusive messages across various social media platforms, accompanied by threats of severe repercussions.

The legal notice sent by advocate Mukesh Sharma on behalf of the group says, “There has been a concerted effort orchestrated through WhatsApp groups, involving students associated with your organization as well as external parties, aimed at besmirching Sh. Ranganathan’s well-established reputation along with the reputation of my client by planning the burning of Sh. Ranganathan’s effigy near his laboratory on the JNU campus. This deliberate and malicious action constitutes a direct assault on my client’s as well as Sh. Ranganathan’s dignity and reputation.”

The legal notice states that posters promoting the effigy burning protest misquotes Ranganathan’s comments. “This deliberate misinterpretation has led to a concerted effort to defame Sh. Ranganathan along with my client and with an intention to create a hostile environment,” the notice says.

It claims that the protest constitutes a deliberate campaign of defamation, harassment, and incitement to violence, all of which are serious violations of the law. Therefore, Youth 4 Panun Kashmir has asked JNUSU to cease and desist from burning the effigy of Anand Ranganathan or engaging in any other form of protest or harassment.

The notice also asks the student organisation to withdraw all defamatory statements against Ranganathan and issue a public apology, and refrain from further making false and inflammatory statements about Kashmiri Hindus and Ranganathan.

Posting the legal notice, the group Youth 4 Panun Kashmir said that Kashmiri Hindus are victims of genocide, and their return to the valley as envisaged in the Margdarshan Resolution of 1991 is non-negotiable. “We will not be bullied nor allow anyone to silence the voice supporting our rightful demand for a return to Panun Kashmir, our Homeland,” they added, talking about the attempts to silence Ranganathan.

The comments were made by Ranganathan at a podcast hosted by ANI Editor Smita Prakash, which also included Abhijit Iyer-Mitra, Sushant Sareen, and Tahseen Poonawala. During the discussion, Ranganathan expressed his dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs in Kashmir and criticised past govt policies over the territory. He slammed govts led by every party for failing Indians, specially Kashmiri Hindus.

He said, “You haven’t rehabilitated 7 lakh Kashmiri Hindus. All the money coming from the tourists is going to the terrorists. This terrorism/militancy and whatever you call it is going to continue.” Calling for rehabilitation of all displaced Kashmiri Hindus, he said, “You need an Israel-like solution to Kashmir. The fact that Israel is unable to solve it is not because Israel is not acting to solve it. Israel has catered to its people, but we haven’t.”

However, his comment was immediately misquoted as advocating for a war like Israel-Hamas war in Kashmir. Later on 11th June, he posted a clarification on X, saying that was calling for rehabilitation of Hindus in Kashmir like Jews were rehabilitated in Israel, and it is not a call for genocide as being alleged.

He posted, “Calling for an Israel-like solution – rehabilitating the victims, making settlements, fighting terror, securing borders – is not calling for genocide; it is calling for preventing another genocide. I stand by Israel. I stand by Kashmiri Hindus. And I stand by every single word.”

Talking about the legal notice sent to JNUSU, he thanked Youth 4 Panun Kashmir and said, “This is not about me, and me being targeted and killed; these Islamists claimed safely and securely rehabilitating 700,000 Kashmiri Hindus was an act of genocide. They were targeting you and 700,000 Kashmiri Hindus.”

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