PIL seeking relocation of KPs outside Kashmir | HC hearing on July 4

 J&K High Court, Srinagar
J&K High Court, SrinagarMubashir Khan/GK File

Srinagar, June 27: After treating a letter by Kashmir Pandit Sangharsh Samiti (KPSS) as Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking to relocate all religious minorities living in Kashmir to a safer place outside Kashmir, the High Court of J&K and Ladakh Monday posted the same for hearing on July 4.

A division bench of Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Javed Iqbal ordered to put up the matter as “fresh” for consideration on July 4 following the request of Advocate Gowhar Jan appearing for KPSS, a body claiming to be representing the Kashmiri Pandits.

As the PIL came up before the bench, on being put to certain questions, the counsel sought time to “look into the matter once again”.

“On his request put up on July 4, 2022, as fresh,” the bench said.

In the first week of this month, KPSS chief Sanjay K Tickoo had written a letter to the Chief Justice urging him that his letter be accepted as PIL “as the lives of the religious minorities are at stake due to the unethical and callous approach from the J&K administration and Centre.”

While the letter was treated as PIL, it was posted for hearing on June 27.

Citing media reports, Tickoo in his letter claimed that the Hindus living in Kashmir wanted to leave Kashmir but the government was not allowing them to do so.

He says that he has invoked Article 21 of the constitution that guarantees the right to life and has sought several measures including the relocation of religious minorities from Kashmir.

He had also requested the Chief Justice to intervene and take cognisance of the issue to protect their lives.

He contends that all the concerned officers and officials be summoned to explain which sort of policy and mechanism they had derived since June 8, 2020, when Ajay Pandita (Bharti) was killed in Anantnag.

“The J&K government and Centre be directed to move and relocate religious minorities living in Kashmir outside Kashmir as they are under direct threat from the terrorists,” he said.

He had also urged the Chief Justice to investigate all the targeted killings which happened since June 8, 2020, and all the officers and officials whose involvement and lapse were in the preliminary allegations be suspended without any further delay and an SIT be constituted to submit its report within stipulated time monitored by the High Court.

He has also urged the Chief Justice to investigate all the transfers before May 12, 2022, which, he said, were done at the behest of some “blue-eyed” persons.

He said that it indicated that the persons in the administration were having a clear idea that the situation in Kashmir was going to worsen which led to the killing of religious minorities in Kashmir.

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