May 14, 2015 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Jammu and Kashmir: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court recently directed the state government to consider the representation by a Sikh petitioner seeking a probe into the killing of 35 Sikhs in Chattisinghpora area in March 2000 and pass appropriate orders within three months.
These orders were passed on May 13 by a division bench of the High Court comprising Chief Justice NN Paul Vasanthakumar and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey in a PIL filed by Avtar Singh Sodhi, a Kashmiri Sikh.
Apart from seeking a probe into the killing of 35 Sikhs at Chattisinghpora in Anantnag district of south Kashmir on March 20, 2000, just a day before the arrival of then US President Bill Clinton to India, the PIL also prays for declaring the Sikh community living in J&K a minority community.
Earlier in October 2014 while admitting the PIL, the court had issued notices to the state and Central governments on a petition seeking probe into the Chattisinghpora massacre.
As the PIL came up for hearing today before the division bench, the petitioner counsel GM Wani submitted that so for no inquiry had been conducted into the killing of 35 innocent civilians from the Sikh community. “There is no justice. Till now nobody knows who killed them,” the counsel submitted while seeking a written reply from the official respondents about the steps taken to inquire into the massacre.
He said the petitioner had already made a representation to the government with regard to the plea taken up in the PIL.
In his reply, Advocate General Riyaz Jan, representing the state government, submitted that the averments made in the PIL were vague.
Assistant Solicitor General SA Makru, representing Government of India, submitted that there is already a minorities communities Act, which however is not applicable to J&K.
After hearing all the sides, the court in its orders asked the state government to consider the representations made by the petitioner and pass appropriate orders within three months. The bench also said that the petitioner was at liberty to redraft or make fresh pleas in the PIL in view of the “vagueness” pointed out by the Advocate General Jan.
Source: The Tribune.
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