India and Delhi opener Gautam Gambhir today defended 20-year-old Delhi University student Gurmehar Kaur over her Facebook post which said it was not Pakistan but war that killed her father.
The left-handed batsman, on his official twitter handle, slammed the online trolls for their 'despicable act' of posting rape threats and abuse to the Kargil martyr's daughter on Twitter.
In a video, titled #Gautispeaks, the southpaw said, "Freedom of expression is absolute and for everyone. High time we learn and practise it daily in every sphere of life".
"I have the utmost respect for the Indian Army. However, recent times have left me disappointed. We live in a free country where everyone is entitled to their opinion. If a daughter who lost her father puts up posts about the horrors of war with the intention of achieving peace, she has all the right to." Said Gambhir.
"Everyone may or may not agree with it but mocking her for it is despicable", he added.
Gurmehar, who put up the Facebook post, along with another one protesting the Ramjus College violence in Delhi between ABVP and AISA, became the target of online trolls, fed by celebrities like former India cricketer Virender Sehwag, along with Bollywood actor Randeep Hooda, wrestler duo of Geeta and Bobita Phogat, wrestler and Haryana policeman Yogeshwar Dutt mocking her on twitter.
Gurmehar Kaur also found some support from poet and Bollywood lyricist Javed Akhtar, who without naming Randeep and Sehwag, termed them illiterate, launching another round of verbal duels between supporters and opposers of the Delhi University student.
Later, both Virender Sehwag and Randeep Hooda put up statements on social networking sites, claiming their statements were misconstrued.
Not only celebrities, the 20-year-old student from the English department of Lady Sriram College was also criticised by Union Minister Kiren Rijiju who made public statements against her two days ago and again today.
On social media yesterday, Kaur said she was not going to participate in the peace march organised at Delhi University campus against last week's violence.Thanking everyone for the support, she said that she was not gonna participate in any protests further. However, her faculty professors, along with army veterans, pledged support to her, and said she was on the right path.
Delhi Police have reportedly filed an FIR against unknown persons for allegedly threatening Kaur online.