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SC directs 11 states to act against assault on Kashmiris post Pulwama

The bench asked the Union Home Ministry to give wide publicity so that Kashmiri people after facing such incidents can approach nodal officers

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Supreme Court
A general view of the Supreme Court  Photo: Aashish Aryan

The Friday sought a response from states where incidents of threat and violence against were reported following the and directed their chief secretaries and DGPs to take "prompt" and necessary action.

The chief secretaries and of police (DGPs) of Maharashtra, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Meghalaya, West Bengal, and Uttarakhand, and the have been directed by the apex court to prevent incidents of "threat, assault and social boycott" of Kashmiris, including students.

A bench headed by also directed that the police officers, who were earlier appointed as nodal officers to deal with lynching incidents, would now be responsible to deal with cases of assaults on

The bench asked the to give wide publicity so that Kashmiri people after facing such incidents can approach the nodal officers.

"The chief secretaries, the DGPs and the are directed to take prompt and necessary action to prevent the incidents of threat, assault, social boycott etc against Kahsmiris and other minorities," the bench also comprising Justice said.

The bench was hearing a plea of seeking a direction to the Centre and the states to prevent incidents of assaults, threats and social boycott of in the wake of the in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed.

appearing for the petitioner claimed that at the outset, 10 more incidents of assaults have taken place in various states after filing of the petition and necessary directions be issued urgently to stop them.

(AG) KK Venugopal, appearing for the Centre said the ministry had issued the requisite advisory to states and Union territories (UTs) on this issue on February 17.

"The Centre has already issued advisory to all states and UTs on February 17 but we can't tell the states about their specific actions that can be taken in such cases because law and order is a state subject," the AG said.

Taking note of the submission, the bench referred to its earlier decision by which it had asked the states and union territories to appoint a as in each district to deal with the cases of mob violence.

It said the police officers will deal with the incidents pertaining to Kashmiris and other minorities in these states in the wake of the recent terror strike.

The bench has now listed the matter for further hearing on next Wednesday.

The plea had sought a direction to the Centre and other authorities for prosecuting people engaging in hate speech, and to appoint a in every state and union territory, including politically-sensitive districts, to prevent acts of violence, discrimination and vigilantism.

It had also sought immediate setting up of a nationwide helpline number and a website containing contact details of the nodal officers appointed in politically-sensitive districts.

"There is a sudden rise in the incidents of crimes against Muslims and Kashmiris after the Pulwama terrorist attack on February 14 in which over 40 soldiers were killed... Immediately after the attack, mobs and vigilante groups engaged in vitriolic hate speech and began attacking, and threatening Muslims and Kashmiris throughout the country, the petition had said.

"These incidents are a part of organised hate campaign against Muslims and Kashmiri, most cases which are fabricated and the that now surrounds has been engineered to gain political mileage

"The extremist groups have led vigilante mob attacks across the country to enforce nationalism by leaders of various groups who claim to promote and instigated hate crimes, "the petition had said.

First Published: Fri, February 22 2019. 12:30 IST