The Supreme Court has agreed to hear on Friday a PIL seeking direction to authorities to protect Kashmiri students who are allegedly being attacked in various parts of the country following the Pulwama terror strike.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices L N Rao and Sanjiv Khanna on Thursday took note of senior advocate Colin Gonsalves' submission that the plea needed to be heard urgently as it relates to the safety and security of students.
The bench, which refused to list the plea for hearing on Thursday, however, assured Gonsalves that it will be listed for consideration on Friday.
The petitioner Tariq Adeeb, a lawyer, alleged in his plea that students from Kashmir Valley are being attacked at different educational institutions across the country after the Pulwama terror attack and authorities concerned should be directed to take action to stop such assaults.
"Order directing the Centre to direct the heads of all institutions particularly, but not restricted to, educational institutions, to take immediate steps to protect the lives and dignities of minorities and Kashmiris facing discrimination and attacks," the plea said.
The petition, filed through advocate Satya Mitra, sought direction to the Centre for taking steps to prevent "threats, assaults, violent attacks, social boycotts, ostracism, evictions and other coercive acts" committed by groups and mobs against "Kashmiris and other minorities".
The plea sought a direction to the Centre and other authorities for prosecuting people engaging in hate speech and appointment of a nodal officer in every state and union territory, including politically-sensitive districts to prevent any acts of violence, discrimination and vigilantism.
It also sought direction to the Centre and other authorities to immediately set up a nationwide helpline number and to establish a web site containing the contact details of the nodal officers appointed in politically-sensitive districts who are responsible for maintaining law and order.
"There is a sudden rise in the incidents of crimes against Muslims and Kashmiris after the Pulwama terrorist attack on February 14 in which over 40 soldiers were killed... Immediately after the attack, mobs and vigilante groups engaged in vitriolic hate speech and began attacking, and threatening Muslims and Kashmiris throughout the country, said the petition.
"These incidents are a part of organized hate campaign against the Muslims and Kashmiri, most cases which are fabricated and the hysteria that now surrounds India has been engineered to gain political mileage. The extremist groups have led vigilante mob attacks across the country to enforce nationalism by leaders of various groups who claim to promote and instigated hate crimes," the petition said.