PUNJAB NOW AMONG 11
Attacks on Kashmiris: SC cracks whip, tells Centre, States to stop violence
- PT Bureau
Attacks on Kashmiris: SC cracks whip, tells Centre, States to stop violence



Top court issues notice to Centre, 11 states, including Punjab 

NEW DELHI, Feb 22: Sending clear signals that it is perturbed over the country-wide attacks on Kashmiri students, the Supreme Court today issued notice to the Centre and 11 states, including Punjab, asking for prompt action to stem these attacks and calls for social boycott.

It said nodal officers were in place and asked the Centre to give publicity about these officers so that victims of violence can approach them. 

Initially, the list only had names of nine states where attacks against Kashmiri students had taken place but during the hearing, two more states, including Punjab, were also added. Considering that Punjab has a Congress government and Chief Minister Amarinder Singh himself handles the Home Affairs portfolio, the development is embarrassing for Rahul Gandhi and his Congress party.

Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves brought it to the notice of the apex court that Punjab and Maharashtra have also emerged as states that have witnessed attacks against Kashmiris. Consequently, these states were also added to the list.

It is not clear how far the Supreme Court action will go in stopping hate speech, threats of violence and violence. "If I have locked myself in my hostel room hundreds of miles from home and there is a crowd outside baying for my blood because I am a Kashmiri, then how do I reach the Nodal Officer, irrespective of the publicity about his appointment?" asked a girl student from Kashmir when approached by Punjab Today for her reaction. She said she was hoping for a more proactive intervention and states that failed to stem these attacks or did not go after the tormentors should have been taken to task.

Attorney General KK Venugopal said Centre could have only issued an advisory to the state governments, a step it has already taken, since law and order is a state subject. He also said nodal officers have been appointed. 
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Following the Jaish-e-Mohammed suicide bomber attack that killed 40 CRPF personnel in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on February 14, a large number of Kashmiri students were harassed and beaten up in Dehradun and many other places.
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The SC bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and including Justices LN Rao and Sanjiv Khanna, ordered the Union Ministry of Home Affairs to give wide publicity about these nodal officers so that anyone aggrieved can approach them. It directed nodal officers to take all steps to stop violence and discrimination.
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The states which have been issued notice include Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Chhatisgarh, Meghalaya, West Bengal and Maharashtra. 

The petition was filed before the SC by a lawyer, Tariq Adeeb, seeking action to stop harassment of Kashmiris in parts of the country in the wake of the Pulwama attack.

Following the Jaish-e-Mohammed suicide bomber attack that killed 40 CRPF personnel in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on February 14, a large number of Kashmiri students were harassed and beaten up in Dehradun and many other places. Hundreds have left their educational institutes. In many cases, managements of these institutes openly conceded that they took action against Kashmiri faculty and students at the instance of mobs.

The original petition had arraigned eight states and the Union government as respondents, and had provided details of the alleged attacks on Kashmiris. It had asked the apex court to direct heads of educational institutions to take steps to protect the lives of Kashmiris. 

The petition also sought action against those indulging in and propagating hate speech.
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Political analysts said it was difficult to instil confidence among Kashmiri students in Punjab since CM Amarinder Singh has been leading the most hawkish stance in the country, threatening to cross over into Pakistan to pick up the terrorists sheltered there. 
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Situation bad in Punjab

Many places in Punjab have been reporting violence against Kashmiri Muslims. Friday’s newspapers were full of reports about Hindutva groups roaming about Derabassi, next door to capital Chandigarh, asking residents to throw out Kashmiri tenants.

One Lovely Vaishnav, national general secretary of the Rashtriya Hindu Shakti Sangathan, was quoted by the Indian Express as saying: "We went to Gulmohar City in Dera Bassi and asked house owners to evict the students from there. Many Kashmiri students were living there.”

Earlier, the Swami Sarvanand Institute of Management Technology in Gurdaspur’s Dinanagar witnessed protests against Kashmiri students. Activists of outfits including the Shiv Sena, entered campus and started raising slogans against Kashmiri students. All Kashmiri students studying at the college left for Kashmir. 

Every room of the college hostel now has national tricolor, ostensibly in the memory of those martyred in the Pulwama terror attack.

In Mohali's Ballopur village, 30 Kashmiri students staying in paying guesthouses (PGs) were allegedly asked to leave by residents. They have all left. Derabassi SDM Pooja Siyal was quick to facilitate their leaving, and arranged transportation, but no action was taken against those who instigated the threats. Raja Hafizullah, a student of civil engineering at Universal College, said some people had threatened the owner of their PG to evict them. Local media reported a student Mujeeb as saying that all Kashmiri students living in PGs together decided to leave the village as they feared for their safety.

Political analysts said it was difficult to instil confidence among Kashmiri students in Punjab since CM Amarinder Singh has been leading the most hawkish stance in the country, threatening to cross over into Pakistan to pick up the terrorists sheltered there.
 
 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

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Comment by: Raj Kumar Singh

But what about Kashmiris distributing laddoos in killing of army personnel and raising of anti India slogans. Nobody spoke against Kashmiri pandits made refugees and uprooted from the land they were living from centuries. What a secular state India is. Everyone is against Hindus only.

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