31 years on justice still eludes Kashmiri reformist Sarwanand Premi’s family

Family of renowned Kashmiri teacher, author and poet, Sarwanand Premi, who was murdered by terrorists in 1990 along with his son has been running from pillar to post for the past 31 years for justice.

His second son, Rajinder Premi is bitter about unkept promises, non-implementation of recommendations of state human rights commission (SHRC) and even the decisions taken by the state government.

Sarwanand Premi was a Gandhian, freedom fighter, social reformer, philanthropist and secular to the core.

He was a resident of south Kashmir Soaf-Shali village in Anantnag district.

“Terrorists kidnapped my father, Sarwanand Premi and my brother, Verinder Premi from our village in 1990.

“After two days, their bodies were found,” Rajinder Premi told IANS.

“My mother lived upto 2017 and she bore the pain and trauma of losing everything to violence for 27 long years,” Rajinder said.

Sarwanand had authored 40 books. He translated the ‘Bhagwat Gita’ into Urdu and Kashmiri, ‘Ramayana’ into Kashmiri. He also translated Tagore’s ‘Gitanjali’ into Kashmiri.

“He had command over Sanskrit and a fair knowledge of the Quran.

“Our family had a rare, hand written manuscript of the holy Quran and even this was looted along with everything the family owned.

“The family approached the SHRC for justice and the SHRC passed recommendations in 2012.

“The state government decided construction of a community/cultural centre in Sarwanand’s native village, commemoration of his literary and cultural work and compensation to the family for the destroyed and looted property.

“They state government also promised effective investigation of the twin murders, loot and plunder and the destruction of the author’s literary works.

“None of these recommendations were implemented. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) took cognisance of the case and summoned the state chief secretary who in his statement told the commission that if the family is aggrieved, they must approach the high court,” Rajinder Premi said.

The author’s son is disgruntled to such an extent that he accuses the J&K government of dodging the family’s plea for justice.

“We have been moving from pillar to post and our prayer for justice is tossed from one corner to the other like a tennis ball. What should we do?” Rajinder said with dejection.

The family has now approached Lt Governor Manoj Sinha and the divisional commissioner Kashmir so that the family gets justice.

“We have a very limited plea like implementations of the SHRC recommendations, implementation of the decisions taken in the high-level meetings of the state government and issuance of record notice/minutes of the meetings on the subject held on 14-01-2017 and 12-10-2017”, Rajinder Premi said.

Rajinder said the union ministry for culture has already taken up the issue of construction of a cultural/community centre and recognition of his father’s literary works with the J&K government.

“This is also gathering dust some where in the J&K government,” Rajinder rued.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with minor edits to conform to HinduPost style-guide.)


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