New Delhi: The Supreme Court today directed 10 states and the centre to ensure Kashmiris living across the country do not face social boycott, harassment or attacks, days after the Pulwama terror attack.
The 10 states are Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Meghalaya, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Punjab and Maharashtra.
Supreme Court advocate Tariq Adeeb, who filed the petition on Thursday along with a request for urgent hearing, also mentioned controversial tweets by Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy who endorsed a call to boycott “everything Kashmiri”.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said the police officers who were appointed as nodal officers to deal with incidents of mob lynching will now be responsible to deal with cases of alleged assault on Kashmiris.
The court told the Home Ministry to give wide publicity of the nodal officers’ contact details so that those who need help can approach them easily.
“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 against Kashmiris and other minorities,” said the bench also comprising Justice Sanjiv Khanna.
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah appreciated the court’s order.
The government has said those who disturb peace or spread rumour will face severe punishment. Helplines also have been launched by the police in several states. The Central Reserve Police Force, which lost over 40 of its soldiers in the terror strike, has asked those who need help to contact them via a helpline.
Three days after the attack on the CRPF convoy last week, the Home Ministry had told all the states and Union Territories to ensure the safety of people from Jammu and Kashmir after it received reports of harassment and threats against them, as the nation mourned the deaths of the soldiers. (NDTV)