Stating that the reports of attacks on Kashmiri people across the country in the aftermath of the terrorist strike in Pulwama “destroy the democratic fabric of the country”, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Thursday issued a notice to the Central government, calling for a report within two weeks and directing it to act “quickly” against the miscreants.
The NHRC, headed by Justice H L Dattu – the former chief justice of India – took suo motu cognizance of the incidents involving Kashmiri people, and issued notices to the Union Home Secretary and the Secretary of the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development, calling for reports within two weeks.
In a strongly-worded directive, the NHRC said that “though there is an atmosphere of grief and anger” across the country after the terrorist attack on the CRPF convoy, “a civilized society cannot accept such kind of violence by the people against their fellow countrymen”.
“Rustication, suspension or action against the students, as mentioned in the news reports, can be a matter of investigation on merits but the incidents of ill-treatment of the Kashmiri people in different parts of the country is definitely in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution of India, which protects equality before the law and equal protection of laws within the territory of India,” the NHRC said.
The commission has also issued notices to the Chief Secretaries of the Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and West Bengal governments as well as the Commissioner of Police, Delhi, calling for their reports on the incidents mentioned in the news reports within four weeks.
The NHRC has also directed the Central government “to act quickly by taking action against the miscreants”. “India is one of the most religiously and ethnically diverse nations in the world and has a rich tolerant culture, which is identified and respected across the world. Such incidents would only tarnish the image of the country,” it said.
The NHRC has detailed all the news reports while issuing the directions, including those reported by The Indian Express.
On a report regarding 34 workers who have left Muzaffarnagar, the NHRC noted that “District Magistrate of Muzaffarnagar has reportedly stated that they do not have a count of Kashmiris working in the area and they have not received any official complaint either from the police or the mill authorities (from where the workers reportedly fled)”.