JAMMU, June 13: In a petition filed by 15 inhabitants of village Rasooh, district Kathua seeking directions to the respondents to proceed against the members of the upper-caste, who were practicing un-touchability and not allowing the petitioners to use village well for drinking water facilities, State High Court today issued notice to Chief Secretary, Financial Commissioner Home, DGP, Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Deputy Commissioner Kathua and SSP Kathua returnable within three weeks.
In the petition, it has been submitted that in a democratic country like India it is unfortunate that even in the year 2012 such a practice of untouchability and casteism is being allowed and the culprits are left free.
“On one hand laws, policies and schemes are being framed to uplift the under privileged people but on the other side people are openly practicing untouchability and are being allowed to do so right under the noose of the administration which has failed to take action. The administration has encouraged the upper caste people by asking us not to use the village well”, the petitioners submitted.
With these submissions, the petitioners sought the Court’s directions for strict enforcement of the constitutional mandate as laid down in Articles 14, 15, 16 & 17 of the Constitution of India, which prohibit discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth and also abolition of untouchability.
After hearing Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed appearing for the petitioners, Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir issued notice to the Government and directed the DC and SSP Kathua to ensure that the petitioners were not subjected to any type of harassment and inconvenience. They were also directed to file affidavits indicating therein as to what steps have been taken against the allegations contained in the memo of the petition.