The National Human Rights Commission or NHRC on Thursday issued notices to the Union ministries of Home and Human Resource Development, and the state governments of West Bengal, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, seeking reports over "ill-treatment of Kashmiris" in wake of the Pulwama terror attack.
The NHRC has also issued a notice to the Delhi Police commissioner and has asked the Union ministries to submit the report on the matter within two weeks. It has given chief secretaries of the states four weeks time to send their reports.
The Commission said even though there is an atmosphere of grief and anger across the country after the terrorist attack, such kind of violence by the people against their fellow countrymen cannot be accepted in a civilised society.
Stating that such incidents will destroy the democratic fabric of the country and tarnish its image of a rich tolerant culture, the Commission, in a statement asserted that the central government should take action against miscreants.
It also highlighted the need for sensitisation of local authorities, police agencies and the general public to maintain law and order.
"Giving such bad treatment by targeting people of a particular region of the country by some elements will destroy the democratic fabric of the country. India is one of the most religiously and ethnically diverse nations in the world and has a rich tolerant culture, which is identified and respected across the world. Such incidents would only tarnish the image of the country," the rights body said.
"The central government has to act quickly by taking action against the miscreants. There is a need for sensitization of local authorities, police agencies and the general public to maintain law and order at every cost," it said.
Taking a "serious note" of media reports regarding attack on Kashmiri people, including students studying in various institutes at different places in the country, it has observed that the reports, if true, raise serious issue of violation of human rights.
"The contents therein are shocking and very disheartening," it said.
"Rustication, suspension or action against the students, as mentioned in the news reports, can be a matter of investigation on merits but the incidents of ill-treatment of the Kashmiri people in different parts of the country is definitely in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution of India, which protects equality before the law and equal protection of laws within the territory of India," the statement said.
The statement stated that according to reports, HRD minister Prakash Javadekar has dismissed alleged harassment of Kashmiri students outside their state and said that the government is in touch with all institutions in this regard.
However, it has also been reported that two Dehradun based educational institutions have stated on record that they will not admit Kashmiri students in future as the colleges, where the Kashmiri students are studying, were threatened by the mob, the Commission said.
At least 10 Kashmiri students have been charged and around 20 suspended or rusticated from colleges across the country for what officials called "anti-national" social media posts. One of the colleges suspended its dean from Jammu and Kashmir as the mob asked to do it, it said.
As per reports, several Kashmiri students, migrants, traders and professionals have had to pack up and leave from different parts of the country, particularly in Uttarakhand and Haryana, the statement said.
A 19-year-old girl from Pulwama, posted some contents in praise of Pakistan on her Instagram account and six students belonging to the same group were suspended by a university in Roorkee, the statement said quoting reports.
Apart from this, there are media reports stating that 34 workers had left Muzaffarnagar and some more are planning to leave as some members of "Bharatiya Kisan Union" protested outside the mill and demanded that Kashmiri workers should be sent back, the rights body said.
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