The Supreme Court on Friday allowed an NGO named “We The Citizens” to approach the Union government with a plea demanding an investigation into the targeted killings of Kashmiri Pandits and Sikhs in Jammu and Kashmir in 1990.
A bench comprising Judges BR Gavai and CT Ravikumar expressed his reluctance to look into the matter and asked the petitioner to approach the authorities. Accordingly, the petition as provided, granting freedom to the requesting NGO to lodge a complaint with the central Government.
The petition also called on the government to conduct a census of the victims who were forced to flee the state and reside in different parts of the country.
During the hearing, the plaintiffs’ lawyer maintained that it was a “genocide of more than a million Hindus in Kashmir”.
He drew on the study of the book “Our Moon Has Blood Clots” by Rahul Pandita, which describes a first-hand account of an incident of murder, arson and migration of Hindus and Sikhs from Cashmere.
He argued that the book contained detailed accounts of the incident and that the author of the book himself was a victim of said attacks. He also referred to a book written by Jagmohan, the governor of J&K in 1990, describing the atrocities committed against the Pandits.
Furthermore, he argued that the government of Jammu and Kashmir never investigated the alleged plot. The lawyer argued that the Indian Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure were only implemented in J&K in 2019 after the repeal of its special status under Section 370 and that the Penal Code of Ranbir was in effect until then. Therefore, no appropriate action under the ICC and the CrPC has been taken with respect to the crimes.
“The government did not see our fate…”, he argued.
The Court then asked,
“Approach the government. Why should we hear it? .. Have you approached the Indian government? »
After that, the court granted freedom to the petitioning NGO to displace the government.
The petition filed by the NGO argues that the attacks on Kashmiri Pandits in 1989-90 were a “genocide of the first order” with the intention of ethnically cleansing the Kashmir valley of Hindus and Sikhs.
“The Kashmiri Pandits (Hindus) and Sikhs have always been at the forefront of the fight against secessionism, communalism and fundamentalism in Kashmir. The final exodus of Hindus and Sikhs from Kashmir has since started the Kashmir Valley in 1989. It was a genocide of the first order with the intention of ethnically cleansing the Kashmir Valley of Hindus and Sikhs.”
Further, the petition states that the 1990 bombings are a glaring example of the complete failure of the constitutional machinery in preventing genocide and protecting the lives and property of Kashmiri Hindus and Sikhs in the Kashmir Valley. As a result, the fundamental rights guaranteed by Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution of India have been blatantly violated,” the petition argued.
Even though hundreds of FIRs regarding the killings of Kashmiri Hindus have been filed, they have been brought to their logical conclusion even after a lapse of more than 30 years. Emphasizing this, the plea states,
“Due to shoddy investigations, the perpetrators, terrorists, anti-nationals have been allowed to worsen law and order in the valley, resulting in the exodus of Hindu families from Kashmir. Thus, until to this day these migrant families are living a life of refuges in other parts of So their basic right is being violated day by day as they are unable to return to their homes please in Kashmir due to lack security measures and regulations.
For these reasons, the petition was filed.
In March 2022, The Kashmiri Pandits organization “Roots in Kashmir” has filed a curative petition with the Supreme Court asking for an investigation into the killings of Kashmiri Pandits at the height of militancy in the valley in the 1990s.