5 December 2022

Jammu / Srinagar : Union home minister Amit Shah announced Tuesday that J & K’s linguistic minority Pahari speaking people will get re benefits along with Gujjars and Bakerwals in accordance with the Justice Sharma commission’s re commendations that all three communities qualify for scheduled tribe ( ST ) status .

Shah said the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A in Au gust 2019 has paved the way for providing reservation to J & K’s deprived sections of society . ” Today’s rally is an answer for those who used to say there would be fire if Article 370 was removed , ” he said , drawing loud cheers and slogans praising PM Narendra Modi .

He was addressing a rally in Rajouri , situated along the LOC at the foothills of the PirPanjal mountain range , as part of his three – day visit to the Union territory that be gan Monday .

ST quota benefits , says Amit Shah
ST quota benefits , says Amit Shah

These recommendations the commission ) ( of have been received and soon after completion of legal Ba procedure , Gujjars , kerwals and Paharis will get the reserva tion benefits , ” Amit Shah said . The ST quota in J & K car ries 7 % spots in government jobs and educational institu tions . Gujjars and Bakerwals were getting ST benefits from April 1991. The Paharis were given a 4 % quota in the OBC category from January 2020 af ter a delegation met Shah on December 25 the previous year , requesting ST status for the community that has a pop ulation of around 12 lakh .

The Centre formed the Jus tice Sharma commission in March 2020 , but Gujjars and Bakerwals the third largest ethnic group after Kashmiris and Dogras were said to be unhappy with the move to grant ST quota to Paharis . It will be perhaps the first lin guistic minority community in the country to get tribal sta tus . He said ” everyone will get their share ” , allaying fears that adding Paharis could up end benefits for those already on the ST list . He said some people tried to instigate Gujjars and Bakerwals , but ” the people have foiled their de sign ” .

There have been reports of protests by Gujjars and Baker wals in Jammu and Shopian in Kashmir recently They con stitute 40 % of the population in the border districts of Ra jouri and Poonch .

Taking on the opposition , Shah said J & K was ” ruled by three families ” for 70 years ” and democracy was built on ly within their families ” , but now power is with 30,000 peo ple who were elected to pan chayats and district councils through fair elections . ” Now , it’s the Pahari’s time , the poor people’s time . “

Shah said PM Modi had promised elections after abro gation of Article 370. A delim itation exercise was carried out before holding the assemb ly polls , which ” was necessary because the previous one was not as per norms ” , he said . The current exercise has followed all norms and the number of seats in the hill areas like Ra jouri , Poonch , Doda , Kishtwar has increased .

He said PM Modi ” snatched stoneds of stone – pelters ” in Kashmir and handed them laptops and jobs . ” Today , J & K youths are competing like any other youngster of the coun try in different fields , ” he said .

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