Killing of Kashmiri Pandits: SC allows NGO to approach Centre

The Supreme Court on Friday declined to entertain a plea seeking an SIT probe into the targeted killings of Kashmiri Pandits which led to their exodus from the valley

Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of India

NH Web Desk

The Supreme Court on Friday declined to entertain a plea seeking an SIT probe into the targeted killings of Kashmiri Pandits which led to their exodus from the valley.

A bench comprising Justices B.R. Gavai and C.T. Ravikumar told the counsel, representing the NGO We the Citizens, to raise the grievances before the Central government.

Advocate Barun Kumar Sinha, representing the petitioner, urged the bench to hear his submissions highlighting the plight of the Kashmiri Pandits.

The bench said he should approach the Centre.

After a brief hearing in the matter, the petitioner's counsel agreed to withdraw the petition.

The bench allowed the counsel to make a representation before the Central government and the concerned authorities.

The plea sought direction for the rehabilitation of those who migrated out of the valley and also sought the SIT be formed to identify those who "aided and abetted the genocide" of the Hindu and Sikh communities between 1989-2003.

It said, "The dastardly genocide and exodus of Kashmiri Hindus and Sikhs which happened in 1989-90 in the Kashmir valley is a glaring example of complete failure of constitutional machinery in preventing the genocide and protecting the life, property of the Kashmiri Hindu and Sikh in the Kashmir valley".

The plea referred to books such as "My Frozen Turbulence in Kashmir", authored by Jagmohan who was Jammu and Kashmir governor during the relevant period, and "Our Moon Has Blood Clots" by Rahul Pandita.

"These books describe the first-hand account of incident of murder, arson and migration of Hindus and Sikhs from Kashmir," the plea said.

"Kashmiri Pandits (Hindus) and Sikhs have always been in the forefront of the struggle against secessionism, communalism and fundamentalism in Kashmir. The final exodus of Kashmiri Hindus and Sikhs began from the Kashmir valley in 1989. This was a genocide of the highest order with the intent to ethnically cleanse the Kashmir valley from Hindus and Sikhs," it said.

A curative petition, filed by Roots in Kashmir, is also pending in the apex court seeking a probe either by the CBI or National Investigation Agency (NIA) into the alleged mass-murders and genocide of Kashmiri Pandits during 1989-90.

In March, the plea filed by Roots in Kashmir challenged an order of the top court passed in 2017 dismissing the plea saying, "the instances referred in the petition pertain to the year 1989-90, and more than 27 years have passed by since then. No fruitful purpose would emerge, as the evidence is unlikely to be available at this late juncture".

A statement from the organisation said that in support of the curative petition, a certificate has been issued by senior advocate and president, Supreme Court Bar Association, Vikas Singh.

The curative petition also cited a 2018 Delhi High Court order on Sajjan Kumar in the anti-Sikh riots case.

The high court allowing the appeal said: "It is important to assure those countless victims waiting patiently that despite the challenges, truth will prevail and justice will be done..."

(with agency inputs)

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