NHRC shuts noted Kashmiri Pandit killing case, directs J&K govt to deal ‘humanely’

Srinagar, The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has directed Jammu and Kashmir chief secretary to examine with “humane approach” a case related to the killing of a noted Kashmiri Pandit and his son in 1990.

The NHRC on April 18, asked the J&K chief secretary to take action in the matter as ‘deemed appropriate’.

Sarwanand Koul Premi, a well-known Kashmiri Pandit writer and poet was killed along with his son by militants in April 1990. Sarwanand Premi’s literary contribution was recognized by J&K government in 2021 and he was conferred with lifetime achievement award posthumously.

Rajinder Premi, his son, had moved a complaint in NHRC in 2020 alleging apathy to the plight of terrorism-affected family by the government by delaying the implementation of recommendations of erstwhile J&K State Human Rights Commission (SHRC).

The Commission while closing the case said it has considered the matter on record including various submissions of the complainant.

“The State cannot deny the fact that there is considerable delay in toto implementation of decision dated 22.2.2012 of the DB (division bench) of J&K SHRC. The Commission further observes that the family of complainant is sufferer on account of failure on part of State Administration/ Law enforcement agencies to protect the life and property of his family,” the NHRC observed

The NHRC said that late Sarwanand Koul was a well known freedom fighter in addition to being a renowned philanthropist, Gandhian, broadcaster, social reformer, litterateur and translator with the knowledge of Hindi, Urdu, Kashmiri, Persian, English and Sanskrit.

“Being an eminent scholar, he firmly believed in the national integrity amongst all communities. During the Quit India Movement from 1942-1946, he also worked underground for the cause of nation and got arrested on six occasions during this time-period.

“Late Shri Sarwanand Koul Premi was respected by all communities in the State. Denying the legitimate rights to NoK (next of kin) of such victims shows lack of sensitivity and compassion on part of State Administration towards such innocent persons whose right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India was violated for just being a persons from one religious community and failure on part of State machinery to prevent such incidents,” the NHRC observed.

The Commission directed the Chief Secretary, Union Territoty of Jammu and Kashmir to examine the whole issue with a humane approach and take an action as deemed appropriate in the matter.

“The Commission also directs its Registry to transmit submission dated 15.4.2024 of the complainant along with instant direction. With this observation/direction, instant case stands closed,” the NHRC said.

While closing the case, the NHRC directed the chief secretary to take further necessary action at your end as per the directions of the Commission.