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Published On: Mon, Jul 24th, 2017

Apex Court Refuses To Reopen Kashmiri Pandits’ Killings probe in 90s

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sc-2_647_100415095103NEW DELHI :  In a major development, the Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a plea seeking probe and prosecution of various persons, including separatist leader Yasin Malik and Bitta Karate for various offences including murder of over 700 Kashmiri Pandits during the height of militancy in the Valley in 1989-90.

The petitioner had sought that separatists like Yasin Mailk , named in the first information reports (FIRs), be investigated and tried for the murders, which they said were never solved. The judges, Chief Justice of India JS Khehar and Justice DY Chandrachud said that almost 27 years have passed since and it will be very difficult for investigators to gather evidence in cases of murder, arson and looting.
“It is heart-wrenching… but you sat over it for last 27 years. Now tell us from where the evidence will come,” they asked.
The petition was filed in the top court by an organisation called “Roots of Kashmir,” which has appealed that Kashmiri Pandits were forced to flee their homes in the Kashmir Valley and so could not join the investigation into the killings. The organisation, through its lawyer Vikash Pandora, said it accepted that there has been a delay in moving court but noted that the Centre, state government and the judiciary did nothing on this either.
As militancy peaked in the Kashmir Valley in the early 1990s, 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.
“You (petitioner) sat over it for last 27 years. Now tell us from where the evidence will come,” the bench said. Advocate Vikas Padora, appearing for an organisation ‘Roots of Kashmir’, said Kashmiri Pandits were forced to leave their abodes in the Valley and could not join the investigation and further submitted that the delay was there but neither the Centre nor the state government nor the judiciary took adequate note of it to do the needful.
The organisation has alleged that 215 FIRs had been lodged relating to the murder of over 700 Kashmiri Pandits and none of the cases have reached a logical conclusion. Kashmiri Pandits were forced to flee the Valley in the early 1990s amid rising threats and attacks during the peak of militancy.

The Supreme Court today refused to re-open investigation in 215 cases relating to the murder of more than 700 Kashmiri Pandits in Jammu and Kashmir in the 1990s, which led to a mass exodus of people from the community.

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