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  Metros   Delhi  03 Mar 2017  Parrikar for free speech but ‘within legal limits’

Parrikar for free speech but ‘within legal limits’

Published : Mar 3, 2017, 2:42 am IST
Updated : Mar 3, 2017, 6:33 am IST

Kaur had criticised the ABVP after some of its members reportedly beat up leftist students in Ramjas College on February 22.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar (Photo: PTI)
 Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: Amid a raging controversy over free speech, defence minister Manohar Parrikar on Thursday said he supports freedom of expression but within the legal boundaries.

Coaxed to offer his opinion, an initially cagey Parrikar gave in: “I believe in freedom of expression but it has to be within reasonable legal framework”. But the minister was quick to add that his comments were not related to any particular incident.


A controversy has been raging ever since Delhi University student Gurmehar Kaur, 20-year-old daughter of an army martyr who lay down his life fighting militants Kashmir, launched a social media campaign against RSS-backed ABVP. She had complained to the police saying she had received rape threats.

Ms Kaur had criticised the ABVP after some of its members reportedly beat up leftist students in Ramjas College on February 22.

On the issue of the alleged leak of question papers of an army recruitment examination, the minister confirmed that his defence ministry has sought a CBI inquiry as the case has inter-state implications. On Monday, the Army had ordered a high-level court of inquiry (CoI) into the alleged paper leak.


Referring to the Kabul blasts and possible use of chemical weapons, he said that the army should be well-prepared to tackle any challenge.

The minister said India will have to be prepared for any kind of nuclear or chemical attack, adding the armed forces must remain alert and prepared for any challenge. He was talking with reference to the photographs of local civilians in Afghanistan with burns and blisters which could have been caused by chemical weapons. “At this moment, I don’t have a confirmation on this matter but the photos are quite distressing,” he said.

At least 12 people were killed in two terror attacks in Kabul on Wednesday. The near-simultaneous attacks struck the Afghan capital around noon. First, a suicide car bomber targeted a police station in western Kabul. The explosion was followed by a gun battle between the police and several attackers. In the second attack, a bomber detonated explosives outside offices of the intelligence service in eastern Kabul.


Tags: manohar parrikar, freedom of expression, gurmehar kaur
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi