Press Trust of india

Nodal officers appointed in all states, UTs for Kashmiris facing problems

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Punjab Police sets up helpline for Kashmiris facing threats

New Delhi/ Chandigarh, Feb 23:  All States and Union Territories have appointed nodal police officers to resolve problems of Kashmiris who are being targeted in the aftermath of the Pulwama suicide attack, officials said Saturday.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has also asked all states to ensure security of Kashmiris who were attacked in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Jammu city in the last few days.

The details of these nodal police officers have been uploaded on the MHA website http://www.mha.gov.in"www.mha.gov.in

In its advisory sent on Friday night, the MHA has conveyed to the State governments and Union Territory administrations to take all necessary steps to prevent any act of assault, threat, intimidation, social boycott, etc., against Kashmiris as well as minorities in accordance with the order of the Supreme Court.

The ministry said the central government is concerned about the reports of incidents of assaults and harassment against residents of Jammu and Kashmir, especially students in some parts of the country, in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack, which killed 49 CRPF soldiers on February 14.

In this regard, an advisory was issued on February 16 also to all State governments and Union Territory administrations to take necessary steps to ensure safety and security of the people belonging to Jammu and Kashmir.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Police has set up a helpline number to deal with the complaints lodged by Kashmiris, especially students in the state.

The toll-free helpline number 181 will ensure prompt and effective response for Kashmiris facing any kind of harassment or trouble in the state, according to an official release issued here.

The helpline will have a special desk dedicated to resolve problems of Kashmiris.

It will promptly respond to and address any complaint of harassment or intimidation of people/students belonging to Jammu and Kashmir.

The victims can call on 181 or send an SMS or WhatsApp message on 76961-81181. They can also fax their complaint on 0172-6626181 and e-mail it to "mailto:help@181pph.com" \nhelp@181pph.com, according to the release.

On Friday, the Centre had asked all states to ensure security of people belonging to Jammu and Kashmir amid reports that some of them were attacked in different parts of the country.

The Supreme Court had also directed that the nodal officers appointed by the States/UTs would take necessary steps to prevent acts of violence, discrimination and other coercive acts against Kashmiris (including students enrolled with the institutions in the respondent States and the Union Territories) and other minorities.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had already assured that his government would ensure full safety and security of Kashmiris in the state.

"Kashmiris are as much a part of India as Kashmir is and abusing or harassing them for the act of ISI-backed terrorists is not only unconstitutional but also inhuman," the chief minister said in the release.

The Punjab Police has also designated Deputy Inspector General (Law & Order) Surjeet Singh as the nodal officer for managing the response and redressal of the complaints.

According to a notification issued by the Punjab Police, the DIG will oversee all issues/grievances pertaining to people/students of J&K living in the jurisdiction of Punjab.

"Any such person/student belonging to J&K in distress can approach the nodal officer on his mobile number 94645-00004 or office number 0172-2747767 at Punjab Police Headquarters, Sector-9, Chandigarh,” the notification stated.

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