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Booker prize-winning author Arundhati Roy to be prosecuted for Kashmir comments

Indian authorities are set to prosecute author Arundhati Roy over comments she made about Kashmir in 2010.

Roy is reported to have said the disputed region of Kashmir is not an “integral” part of India at a panel discussion 14 years ago.

Lieutenant governor for Delhi VK Saxena, who belongs to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP party, gave the green light to pursue legal action, the Press Trust of India has reported.

Roy, whose novel The God Of Small Things won the Booker prize in 1997, has been one of Mr Modi’s most vocal critics.

As part of her political activism, she has been outspoken against laws the BJP has brought in against minority groups and press freedoms.

Mr Saxena has said she will be prosecuted for the comments alongside a former university professor from Kashmir, Sheikh Showkat Hussain.

According to law enforcement, the pair can now be charged under anti-terror laws for advocating for the ‘secession’ of Kashmir.

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Narendra Modi after voting. Pic: Reuters
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Narendra Modi on 7 May. Pic: Reuters

Roy’s home in Delhi was mobbed with protesters after the comments made during the panel discussion were published.

India and Pakistan have long fought over who Kashmir belongs to. After Indian independence from the British in 1947 its leader chose to become part of India, with several wars breaking out since.

Both countries now claim the region in full but only control respective parts of it.

Mr Modi was re-elected prime minister last month but fell short of a majority.

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