Pulwama fallout: SC to hear pleas seeking security for Kashmiri students

New Delhi: The Supreme Court is likely to hear on Friday a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking direction to the Centre and the state governments to protect Kashmiri students, being targeted across the country in the wake of Pulwama terror attack.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice Sanjiv Khanna on Thursday said they might hear the PIL on Friday after senior counsel Colin Gonsalves mentioned it for an urgent hearing.

“It is neither possible, nor necessary,” CJI Gogoi said as Gonsalves urged the court to hear the PIL in the afternoon, at least by 2 p.m.

PIL petitioner Tariq Adeeb has referred to a dozen media reports of attack on Kashmiri students across the country after a CRPF convoy was attacked by a terrorist in an explosive-laden SUV on February 14, resulting in the death of 40 troopers.

He also said the students from the Kashmir valley living in other states were in constant fear and facing threats after the attack.

Also citing the statement of Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy exhorting the boycott of Kashmiris and their goods, Adeeb referred to the apex court’s July 17, 2018 judgement on the issue of curbing of activities of vigilante groups and mob lynching.

The top court had said, “We may emphatically note that it is axiomatic that it is the duty of the state to ensure that the machinery of law and order functions efficiently and effectively in maintaining peace so as to preserve our quintessentially secular ethos and pluralistic social fabric in a democratic set-up governed by rule of law.”

“In times of chaos and anarchy, the State has to act positively and responsibly to safeguard and secure the constitutional promises to its citizens. The horrendous acts of mobocracy cannot be permitted to inundate the law of the land. Earnest action and concrete steps have to be taken to protect the citizens from the recurrent pattern of violence which cannot be allowed to become ‘the new normal’,” it had maintained.

In another related matter, advocate J.P. Dhanda sought an early listing of the plea for probe into Pulwama terror attack.