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Pulwama attack: MHA directs states, union territories to ensure safety, security of Kashmiris

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

ANI New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 23, 2019, 07.29 AM (IST)

Raising concerns over incidents of assault and harassment against residents of Jammu and Kashmir, especially students, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has directed state governments and Union Territories to ensure safety and security of these individuals in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack.

In a letter written to Chief Secretaries of all states and Union Territories by MHA’s Department of Jammu and Kashmir Affairs, Director Beena Yadav said, “The Government is concerned at the reports of incidents of assaults and harassment against residents of Jammu and Kashmir, especially students in some parts of the country, in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack of February 14, 2019. In this regard, an Advisory dated February, 16 was issued to all State Governments and Union Territory Administration to take necessary steps to ensure safety and security of the persons belonging to Jammu and Kashmir.”

The government order also cited a Supreme Court directive issued on Friday in this regard and said that the state and UT administration and the nodal officers appointed by them must take all necessary steps to prevent any act of assault, threat, intimidation and social boycott against Kashmiris as well as minorities in accordance with the apex court’s order.

The MHA has also asked the states and UTs to give wide publicity to the names of nodal officers appointed in the states.

Nodal officers were appointed by various states to look into the issue following an advisory by the Centre.

The Supreme Court had directed the chief secretaries and the directors general of police of all state and Union territories to take strong and necessary measures to prevent attacks on Kashmiris and other minorities in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack.

The bench had also directed the MHA to give wide publicity to the appointment of nodal officers so that people could immediately approach them in case Kashmiris or other minorities face threat or discrimination in any part of the country.

As many as 40 CRPF personnel lost their lives in the dastardly attack carried out by Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in Pulwama on February 14.

In the aftermath of the attack, reports suggested that a number of Kashmiris, especially students, were threatened in various parts of the country.

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The government order also cited a Supreme Court directive issued on Friday in this regard and said that the state and UT administration and the nodal officers appointed by them must take all necessary steps to prevent any act of assault, threat, intimidation and social boycott against Kashmiris as well as minorities in accordance with the apex court’s order.