The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a petition seeking directions to set up a special investigation team (SIT) “to identify the perpetrators who were involved (in), aided and abetted” alleged killings “of Hindus and Sikhs inand Kashmir during the period from 1989-2003” and to prosecute them.
A bench of Justices B R Gavai and C T Ravikumar asked the petitioner, an NGO called We the Citizens, to give representation to the central government.
The NGO agreed to do this and sought liberty to withdraw the plea, which was granted by the Supreme Court. The petition said the alleged killings led to the exodus of Hindus and Sikhs from the Valley. It mentioned Pakistan, Islamic radicalisation and “complacency on the part of Indian State” as part of the problem.
The plea had also sought direction “to rehabilitate/resettle the Kashmiri Hindus and Sikhs, including those who have migrated after the exodus in 1990 and onwards from Kashmir and any other part of the country… to conduct a Census of Hindus and Sikhs of Jammu & Kashmir who have been victims/survivors… residing in different parts of India” and “directions to… declare that all sale of properties post exodus in the year January 1990, whether religious, residential, agricultural, commercial, institutional, educational or any other immovable property as null and void”.
In July 2017, a bench of then CJI J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud had dismissed a similar PIL filed by Roots in Kashmir, saying “the instances referred to pertain to 1989-90, and more than 27 years have passed”.