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Centre asks states not to target J and K residents

New Delhi:  The Centre today asked all states and Union territories not to target people from Jammu and Kashmir for police reporting for merely being residents of the state, an issue that was vociferously raised by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

The views of the Chief Minister were reflected by the three interlocutors appointed by the Centre for finding a lasting solution to the Kashmir issue.

In an advisory to all states and UTs, the Ministry of Home Affairs asked them to exercise utmost sensitivity while making inquiries about residents of Jammu and Kashmir living in different parts of the country.

"It has also asked the states to issue appropriate instructions to all police stations that they (Kashmiris) should not be singled out unnecessarily for police reporting merely on grounds of their being original Kashmiri residents," a statement issued by the Ministry said.

It asked the states and Union territories to report to it the action taken in such cases.

The interlocutors visiting the state had received representations from the common people and various stakeholder groups that Kashmiri boys and girls were singled out by the police in states outside J&K and asked to report to police stations merely on account of the fact that they belong to Kashmir.

"This kind of treatment affects the sensibility of the residents of state and they experience a sense of humiliation leading to feeling of alienation and injustice. The Indian Constitution and the law of the land does not permit discrimination on account of race, religion, caste and creed," it said.

The advisory comes close on the heels of Mumbai Police issuing unsigned notice to its police stations asking them to keep a close watch on Kashmiri people.

The J&K Chief Minister had raised the issue with the Union Home Ministry on several occasions and had also said that this was insulting for the residents of his state.

He had also assured 24×7 assistance from the state police if there was any query from other states and Union Territories.

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