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Supreme Court has asked the Centre and 10 State governments to file report on measures taken to ensure safety of Kashmiri students within seven days

Days after it directed the Centre and 10 state governments to ensure the safety of Kashmiri students and natives in wake of a hate campaign directed against them following the February 14 Pulwama terror attack, the Supreme Court, on Wednesday (February 27), said it did not feel the need to issue any further directions on the matter as of now.

The observation by the Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices L Nageswara Rao and Sanjiv Khanna came after Attorney General KK Venugopal submitted that no incidents of violence or intimidation of Kashmiris has been reported since the top court issued it order on February 22.

The Attorney General made the submission after senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, appearing for the petitioner, sought additional orders from the court to ensure safety of the Kashmiri people. Gonsalves urged the bench for directions to set up a helpline and mechanism for online registration of FIRs for Kashmiris who face any instance of intimidation or violence.

Satisfied with Venugopal’s submission, the bench said that it found no need to pass the additional directions sought by Gonsalves, as of now, but directed the Centre and States to file their replies within seven days on steps they have taken to ensure the implementation of the court’s February 22 order.

On February 22, the top court had issued a slew of directives to the Centre and state governments to ensure that Kashmiri people and members of the minority community are not harassed, intimidated or attacked in wake of the communal hate campaign orchestrated against them since the terror attack in Pulwama, J&K, which had claimed lives of over 40 Army and CRPF personnel.

The Attorney General had informed the court that the Centre had already appointed nodal officers to deal with complaints of harassment and violence against Kashmiris and that their contact numbers were being circulated widely so that grievances can be conveyed to these officers round the clock.

The court had said that the nodal officers must take all necessary steps to prevent violence against the Kashmiris and members of the minority communities and that the Union home ministry must widely publicize the court’s orders. The bench had also directed the Union home ministry to ensure that all acts of violence and intimidation are brought under control and advisories for the purpose are issued from time to time.

Further, the police chiefs of all States and Union Territories and the Delhi police commissioner had been directed to take prompt action to prevent any incident of violence.

— India Legal Bureau

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