PIL filed after 27 years to investigate persecution of Kashmiri Pandits

Faith Castro
July 26, 2017

The apex court refused to order re-probe into 215 cases of killing of Kashmiri pandits related to 1989-90 genocide. The SC, which three months ago sought answers from the Centre on the special investigation team's decision to close 199 of the 293 cases relating to anti-Sikh riots 33 years ago, dismissed the PIL by an outfit called 'Roots in Kashmir' and said no fruitful objective would be served by reopening the cases after 27 years.

Dismissing the PIL filed by an NGO called Roots in Kashmir, the apex court said it is hard to have any probe and collect evidence on the issue more than 27 years after the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits. "We have heard counsel for the petitioner at some length". The petitioner had sought that separatists like Yasin Mailk and Bitta Karate, named in the first information reports (FIRs), be investigated and tried for the murders, which they said were never solved.

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At one point of time, the bench got irked when the lawyer kept seeking issuance of directions and said "unfortunately, you are seeking headlines". During 1990s when the militancy was at peak in the Kashmir Valley, thousands of Kashmiri Pandits were forced to abandon their homes and all their belongings as they fled the Valley amid rising threats and attacks on them.

Kashmiri Pandits were forced to migrate from the Valley and could not join the investigation leading to the delay but neither the Centre nor the state government nor the judiciary took adequate note of it to do the needful, he said.

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