NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today heard a public interest litigation seeking a direction to authorities to protect Kashmiris who are allegedly being targetted across the country in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror strike.

The petition, filed by advocate Tariq Adeeb, mentions eight states and the central government as respondents. The respondent states include Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Meghalaya, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal.

Advocate Colin Gonsalves, appearing for the petitioner, submitted that fresh attacks on Kashmiris had taken place in Maharashtra and Punjab as well.

Adeeb told The Citizen that “the Supreme Court noted our concerns and proceeded to issue notice to 10 states and the centre. It has ordered nodal officers appointed by the centre to take steps to prevent acts of threat, intimidation, social boycott, and assault on Kashmiris. The appointment of such nodal officers has to be given wide publicity.”

Further, the DGPs of the respondent states have been ordered to ensure that no such violence takes place.

The bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna heard Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves appearing for the petitioner and Attorney-General K.K.Venugopal before issuing notice.

The plea alleges that people from the Kashmir valley are being targeted and attacked at different public spaces and educational institutions across the country after the Pulwama terror attack. And that the concerned authorities haven't taken appropriate measures or actions to stop such assaults.

The petitioners asked the Supreme Court to intervene and and issue an advisory to governments to prevent such attacks, threats, and social boycott against Kashmiris.

Yesterday a bench comprising CJI Gogoi and Justices Khanna and L.N.Rao had agreed to hear the PIL urgently as it relates to the safety and security of the Kashmiri people.

The petition also requests for the prosecution of people indulging in hate speech across the country, to prevent acts of violence and vigilantism.

Since the terror attack in Kashmir’s Pulwama district, many incidents of violence against Kashmiri citizens have been reported across the country.

Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy on Tuesday publicly endorsed a boycott on ‘everything Kashmiri’.

He tweeted, “An appeal from a retired colonel of the Indian Army: Don’t visit Kashmir, don’t go to Amarnath for the next 2 years. Don’t buy articles from Kashmir emporia or Kashmiri tradesman who come every winter. Boycott everything Kashmiri. I am inclined to agree.”

Governor Roy is former West Bengal president of the BJP.

(Cover Photograph: From a viral video of a Kashmiri man being attacked by a mob)