The Supreme Court of India on Monday refused to reopen 215 cases in which 700 Kashmiri Pandits were killed during the unrest in the Valley in 1989-90. A two judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud refused to entertain the plea claiming that a reprobe in the case and the trial of several of the accused, including separatist leader Yasin Malik, for crimes allegedly committed against Pandits in Kashmir would be very difficult. The two-judge bench observed that obtaining evidence of the alleged offences would be very difficult as the offences took place 27 years ago. The Supreme Court bench questioned the delay in filing the plea. The bench said ”The petitioner sat over the case for the last 27 years. Now from where will we gather the evidence,” as per an Indian Express report.
Responding to the court Advocate Vikas Padora, who represented the organisation ‘Roots of Kashmir’, told the Apex Court that Kashmiri Pandits had been forced to leave the Valley and due to this reason they were unable to join the investigation. Advocate Padora also accused the Jammu and Kashmir state government and the government at the Centre of not taking the required action, as per the report. Roots of Kashmir has alleged that 215 FIRs have been registered in connection with the deaths of more than 700 Kashmiri Pandits, but none of these cases have reached their logical conclusion. Kashmiri Pandits were forced to leave Kashmir Valley in the early 90’s amid rising fears of violence during the early years of militancy, according to an Indian Express report.