Roots in Kashmir (RIK) approaches Apex Court, Seeking Probe of 1990s HindusGenocide

NEW DELHI: The Roots in Kashmir (RIK), a prominent Kashmiri Pandits organisation, on Thursday, filed a curative petition in the Supreme Court, pursuing probe into the killings of Kashmiri Pandits in 1990 genocide in the valley.

The petition had sought probe and prosecution of various persons, including separatist leader Yasin The petition is filed against the SC verdicts in 2017 which was then dismissed by the Apex Court citing long delay of the matter.

On July 24, 2017, then Chief Justice JS Khehar and DY Chandrachud had dismissed the petition stating, “there is no evidence available after 27 years”. While the bench said that it is heart wrenching but cannot pass order at this stage due to its long pending. Again, a review petition was filed against the same, which was again dismissed in Oct 2017 by the SC.

Roots in Kashmir in its original plea had asked the followings.

Investigation and prosecution of terrorists like Yasin Malik and Farooq Ahmed Daar @ Bitta Karate, Javed Nalka and others, for hundreds of FIR’s of murders of Kashmiri Pandits during 1989- 90, 1997 and 1998, and which are lying un-investigated by J&K Police even after expiry of 26 years.

Transfer of investigation of all the FIR’s/cases of murder and other allied crimes against Kashmiri Pandits in year 1989-90, 1997 and 1998, to some other independent investigating agency like CBI or NIA or any other agency as appointed by this Court, as till date J&K police has failed miserably to to make any progress in hundreds of FIR’s lying pending with them.

Transfer of all the FIR’s/cases pertaining to murders of Kashmiri Pandits, from State of J&K to some other State (preferably State of NCT of Delhi), so that the witnesses, who were reluctant to approach police or Courts in view of their safety concerns, can freely and fearlessly come and depose before investigating agencies and Courts.

Completion of trial and prosecution of Yasin Malik for gruesome murder of 4 officers of Indian Air Force on the morning of 25th January 1990, which is currently pending before CBI Court.

Appointment of some independent Committee or Commission to investigate into the mass- murders and genocide of Kashmiri Pandits during 1989-90 and subsequent years, and also to investigate the reasons for non-prosecution of FIR’s of murders of Kashmiri Pandits and Court- monitored-investigation so that the hundreds of FIR’s can reach their logical conclusion without any further delay.

RIK now seeks to reopen the matter through an instant curative petition. Vikas Singh, a senior advocate and President of Supreme Court Bar Association, and Former Additional Solicitor General of India has urged that ‘to dismiss the plea for probe on the sole ground of long delay amounts to a “grave error apparent on the record”.

It further stated ‘because the orders passed by this Hon’ble Court are manifestly erroneous and bad in law on the sole ground that delay is not attributable to victim families, many of whom have consistently sought to use, all available forums to struggle for justice. Some victim families have not pursued cases due to the real fear and danger”, the petition says.

It is submitted that more than 700 Kashmiri Pandits were murdered during 1989-98 and FIRs were lodged in more than 200 cases, but not even a single FIR has reached to the stage of filing of Charge sheet or conviction.

“Because this Hon’ble Court has completely failed to appreciate that more than 700 Kashmiri Pandits were murdered during 1989 to 1998 and FIRs were lodged in more than 200 cases, but not even a single FIR has reached to the stage of filing of Charge sheet or conviction”, the plea reads.

The petitioner pointed out that in the anti-Sikh riots case, the Courts have taken cognizance even after three decades.

The curative also quotes the Delhi High Court’s judgment in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case (Sajjan Kumar Vs CBI reported in 2018), where it was said, “It is important to assure those countless victims waiting patiently that despite the challenges, truth will prevail and justice will be done.”