The Supreme Court on Friday sent notices to the Centre and 10 states asking for their responses on a petition seeking intervention to prevent alleged attacks on Kashmiri students following the Pulwama suicide bombing, ANI reported.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi directed police officers, who were appointed nodal officers to deal with incidents of lynching, to handle cases of alleged assault on Kashmiri students, reported PTI.
“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 said. The notice was issued to Maharashtra, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Meghalaya, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand.
The top court directed the states to take action against the accused and posted the matter for further hearing to next week, according to Live Law.
Several Kashmiri students were reportedly harassed and beaten up in the Dehradun following the terror attack in South Kashmir in which 40 security personnel were killed. Since then, many Kashmiri students in Uttarakhand have temporarily left the state. Nearly 300 Kashmiri students have fled to Jammu and Delhi from colleges in Uttarakhand after large-scale eviction from their campuses.
The central government, however, had said there was no such harassment of Kashmiri students. “We are in touch with all institutes, no such incident took place,” Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar had said.
Advocate Tariq Adeeb filed the plea in the Supreme Court. The respondent states are Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Meghalaya, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal.
Adeeb had asked the Supreme Court to issue directions to heads of educational institutions and to take steps to protect the lives of Kashmiris. The lawyer also wanted people indulging in hate speech to be prosecuted.
Mehbooba Mufti, Omar Abdullah welcome decision
Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision. “Relieved about the SC order to ensure Kashmiri students based outside J&K are not harassed or face social boycott,” the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said. “Shameful that the honourable judiciary took decisive action where others conveniently turned a blind eye.”
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said the Supreme Court had done what the “elected leadership in Delhi should have been doing”. “The Union HRD minister was busy living in denial [and] a Governor was busy issuing threats,” he tweeted. “Thank goodness the Hon [honourable] SC stepped in.”