Kashmiri Pandits to move SC next week for probe into 1989-90 genocide

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It has been 32 years since hundreds of Kashmiri Pandits were killed as part of ethnic cleansing in the Kashmir Valley, and their wounds remain raw as justice eludes many in the community who lost their loved ones. Seeking justice for the community, Roots in Kashmir, an organisation representing the displaced Pandits, will move the Supreme Court next week seeking a probe into the genocide.

A bench headed by then Chief Justice J.S. Khehar on July 24, 2017, had declined to entertain a review petition filed by the Pandits. The top court had noted that instances referred to in the petition pertained to 1989-90 and more than 27 years have passed since then. No fruitful purpose would be served as there will not be any evidence at this late juncture, it had said.

“We are filing a curative petition with a hope that the courts will appreciate that it erred in 2017. That it opened Sikh riot cases much older than the Kashmiri Pandit genocide,” said Amit Raina of Roots of Kashmir.

The organisation has argued that the top court on August 21, 2017, reopened and ordered further investigation into 241 cases closed by the SIT in connection with anti-Sikh riot cases and “this amounts to discrimination”.

Raina contends that the top court formed the Mukherjee Commission to probe Netaji’s death, then why can’t investigations be ordered into Kashmiri Pandits’ genocide.

He insisted that it will be significant step in the fight for justice for the community members, who have been pursuing this matter relentlessly to send the perpetrators to the jail. On January 19, the community observes every year as “holocaust day”.

“We will also be reminding the apex court that the case against JKLF chief Yasin Malik for kidnapping Rubaiya Sayeed in 1989 and killing of 4 IAF officials in 1990 should also be reopened,” said Rahul Mahanoori, a senior member in the organisation.

Against the backdrop of revocation of Articles 35A and 370, the organisation feels the situation is conducive to reopen the investigations.

Neal Pandita, 15, who is the coordinator of Roots in Kashmir, said she is hopeful that the top court will deliver justice to our community.

“It is a large community with half a million people who are eager to get justice for their family members, comrades, who had been killed in the name of genocide, ethnic cleansing,” she said.

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Arushi Sana is the Co-Founder of Santerra Living, a bio-pellet factory that makes a renewable form of eco-coal and Co-Founder of NYK Daily, a global news platform. She was awarded the Times Power Women of the Year 2022, Times Digital Entrepreneur of the Year 2023, Silicon India's Top 10 Women Owned Startups of Hyderabad 2023 and IHW Council Climate Health Influencer 2024. Arushi is also a speaker for Sustainability and Entrepreneurship at various forms like the World Bank, UN International Solar Alliance and Universities, and was also invited to the UN COP28 UAE Climate Conference. She is a Sustainability Consultant for organisations looking to reduce their carbon footprint and also works with brands on social media to help them carve a presence in that niche. She holds a Degree in Computer Science Engineering from VIT University and a Diploma in Marketing Analytics from IIM Nagpur. She has previously worked in Ernst & Young and Deloitte as a Forensic Data Analyst. Arushi is a writer, political researcher, a social worker, a farmer and a singer with an interest in languages. Travel and nature are the biggest spiritual getaways for her, and she aims to develop a global community of knowledge and journalism par excellence through this News Platform.

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