New Delhi: In a major development, the Centre on Thursday issued guidelines to all states and Union Territories (UTs) to prevent unnecessary harassment of people of Jammu & Kashmir staying in different parts of the country and to be extremely sensitive while making police inquiries about them.
According to reports, the Centre’s advisory in this regard was issued on the advice of the three interlocutors appointed by the Government of India for finding a lasting solution to the Kashmir issue.
The advisory, which aims at protecting the residents of J&K from unnecessary harassment and humiliation, was issued to all states and UTs except J&K.
"It has also asked the states to issue appropriate instructions to all police stations that they (Kashmiris) should not be singled out unnecessarily for police reporting merely on grounds of their being original Kashmiri residents," a statement issued by the Home Ministry said.
It asked the states and Union territories to report to it the action taken in such cases.
The interlocutors visiting the state had received representations from the common people and various stakeholder groups that Kashmiri boys and girls were singled out by the police in states outside J&K and asked to report to police stations merely on account of the fact that they belong to Kashmir.
"This kind of treatment affects the sensibility of the residents of state and they experience a sense of humiliation leading to feeling of alienation and injustice. The country’s Constitution and the law of the land does not permit discrimination on account of race, religion, caste and creed," it said.
The advisory comes close on the heels of Maharashtra Police issuing unsigned notice to its police stations asking them to keep a close watch on Kashmiri people.
The J&K Chief Minister had raised the issue with the Union Home Ministry on several occasions and had also said that this was insulting for the residents of his state.
He had also assured 24x7 assistance from the state police if there was any query from other states and Union Territories.