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Do Not Harass the Families of Militants: High Court Directs to Security Forces and Jammu and Kashmir Police

On Friday, the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir directed police and security authorities to not trouble families of militants in Kashmir and protect their properties while it sought a response from the defence ministry and the J&K government to a bunch of petitions.“In the meantime, the respondents shall not harass petitioners without following the procedure of law and shall ensure the protection of their life and property,” the court ordered.

On behalf of the aggrieved families, advocate Mir Shafaqat Hussain along with Mir Wajid submitted before the court that “a militant holds a gun, his family cannot be victimised; their right to life and liberty is an individual right under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.”

The court issued directions while hearing the petitions filed by the families of militants through advocate Shafaqat Hussin seeking directions for stopping “harassment” of families of militants in south Kashmir areas. Justice Tashi Rabstan also issued notice to deputy commissioner Pulwama, deputy inspector general of police (South Kashmir range), senior superintendent of police Pulwama, superintendent of police Awantipora, in-charge special operations group of J&K police in Tral, Pulwama, in-charge special operations group of police in Aribal Pulwama, in-charge police station Tral, in-charge of army’s 56 post office and commanding officer of army’s 42 Rashtriya Rifles camp in Tral.

Earlier, the Jammu and Kashmir police along with the security forces, detained the father of top most wanted militant Riyaz Naikoo, after which the militants in retaliation, detained 11 family members of the policemen in south Kashmir in 24 hours. Though the petitioners approached the concerned police stations but no action was taken/ “The petitioners are peace-loving and law-abiding citizens of the state and have not committed any offence and are entitled to the protection of their life and liberty which is being jeopardised by the aggression of the state actors. The petitioners have become victims of state aggression,” Hussain had argued in the court

Hussain also pleaded that directions be issued so that Rs 50 lakh compensation is given in case of “unconstitutional and illegal use of force against the petitioners.” He also sought directions for lodging of FIRs against the army and SOG for harassing them.

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