Court asks Delhi to decide Muslims' status in Kashmir

Court asks Delhi to decide Muslims' status in Kashmir

Court asks Delhi to decide Muslims' status in Kashmir

A PIL was filed by Jammu-based advocate Ankur Sharma, alleging that benefits accruing to minorities were being taken away by Muslims, who were the majority in Jammu and Kashmir.

"We do appreciate that it is a very very important issue".

The suggestion for using such grenades came up at a meeting chaired by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi which was called a day after the Supreme Court voiced concern over injuries caused by pellet guns to minors and asked the Centre and state to consider other effective means to quell the protests as it concerned "life and death".

Appearing for the state government, senior lawyer Gopal Subramanium said he had advised the Jammu and Kashmir government to demonstrate utmost "inclusiveness" and grant equal protection to all communities.

Taking note of willingness of both the governments, the bench said, "We hope and expect that a fruitful decision will emerge on the next date of hearing".

Hearing a PIL yesterday for a ban on the use of pellet guns during protests, Chief Justice J.S. Khehar had urged the Centre to explore alternatives: "It's a serious issue".

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Sharma in his plea also alleged t hat the rights of religious and linguistic minorities of the state were syphoned off illegally and arbitrarily due to the extension of benefits to unqualified sections of the population.

"This clearly reflects the unfairness and discrimination of the State towards the communities in the state of Jammu and Kashmir which are eligible to be notified as minorities", added the petition.

The state government is violating Article 29 (protection of interests of minorities) and Article 30 (right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions) under the Constitution.

The Indian Supreme Court on Monday asked New Delhi and authorities in Indian occupied Kashmir to decide upon whether Muslims can be treated as a minority in the disputed region, the Times of India (TOI) reported. "It is not a must to have a state minority commission if you want to protect a community".

The top court had also sought assistance of Attorney General on the issue and asked him to submit copy of the report submitted by the Expert Committee constituted for exploring other alternatives to pellet guns.

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