NHRC directs J&K Chief Secy to deal issue of slain poet’s family with ‘humane approach’

New Delhi, Apr 19 (PTI) The NHRC has directed Jammu and Kashmir chief secretary to examine with “humane approach” an old issue related to the family of a poet and his son who were killed by militants in 1990, and take action as “deemed appropriate” in the matter. The complaint or intimation dated July 15, 2020 received from Rajinder Premi in respect of him and his family was placed before the commission on Thursday. His father, Sarwanand Koul Premi, a poet and freedom fighter belonging to the Kashmiri Pandit community, and younger brother were brutally murdered by militants in 1990, according to the case proceedings uploaded on the website of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

The instant matter relates to “apathetical approach of state government” towards the plight of this affected family of erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir by delaying the implementation of decision of a DB (division bench) of erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir SHRC (State Human Rights Commission),” it said.
“Denying the legitimate rights to the NoK (next of kin) of such victims shows lack of sensitivity and compassion on part of the 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 person from one religious community and failure on part of state machinery to prevent such incidents,” the proceedings said.

The commission in its proceedings has said that it “considered” the matter on record including various submissions of the complainant.
The state cannot deny the fact that there is “considerable delay in implementation of the decision dated 22.2.2012 of the DB of J&K SHRC,” it said.
The NHRC further observed that the family of the complainant is sufferer on account of “failure on part of state administration/law enforcement agencies to protect the life and property of his family,” it added.

The erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated into UTs of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh in 2019.
The commission directed the chief secretary of the UT of Jammu and Kashmir to “examine the whole issue with a humane approach and take an action as deemed appropriate in the matter”, according to the proceedings.

The compliance report be submitted “within a period of eight weeks for official records of the commission,” the NHRC said.
“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. Accordingly, you are directed to take further necessary action at your end as per the directions of the Commission,” the rights panel said in the proceedings.
Sarwanand Koul Premi 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,” the NHRC mentioned during the proceedings.

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”, it said, adding that Sarwanand Koul Premi was “respected by all communities” in the state.