The Supreme Court Friday directed chief secretaries and DGPs of states and Union Territories to ensure “prompt” action to prevent any incidents of violence or intimidation and social boycott of Kashmiris and other minority communities in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack.
A bench comprising Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices L N Rao and Sanjiv Khanna issued a notice to the Centre, 11 states and the UTs on a petition seeking direction to protect Kashmiris against alleged assaults and social boycott.
Watch video: Kashmiris attacked in several parts of India
“The chief secretaries, the DGPs and the Delhi Police Commissioner are directed to take prompt and necessary action to prevent incidents of threat, assault, social boycott etc. against Kashmiris and other minorities,” the bench was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
The court asked the Centre to give publicity to nodal officers after they are appointed in every state so that the instances of violence, attack, social boycott etc can be brought to their notice so that they can take timely action. Attorney General K K Venugopal told the court that the Centre had already taken steps and issued advisories.
The Supreme Court order comes two days after Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar dismissed reports of alleged harassment of Kashmiri students outside their state. “There is massive anger in the country against the Pulwama terror attack. However, I want to clarify that what you are trying to say (about Kashmiri students being attacked) is not true. We are in touch with all institutes and no such incident has happened,” Javadekar had said,
The petition by advocate Tariq Adeeb said that “immediately after the (Pulwama) attack, mobs and vigilante groups engaged in vitriolic hate speech and began attacking and threatening Muslims and Kashmiris throughout the country” and referred to some of these alleged instances. The plea alleged that the centre and states have not been effective in curbing this and sought the court’s intervention.
At least 10 Kashmiri students were booked and 24 others suspended or rusticated from colleges across the country over “anti-national” social media posts. Several Kashmiri students, especially in Uttarakhand and Haryana, had to pack up and leave following cases of assault and violence.
The attack which claimed the lives of 40 CRPF jawans after an IED-laden Scorpio SUV rammed into a bus carrying the security personnel, escalated tension not only in the state but also across the country. Pakistan-based JeM claimed responsibility for the attacks.