Seeking support of Paharis, Bakerwals and Gujjars “to end the three-family rule” in Jammu and Kashmir, Union Home minister Amit Shah on Tuesday said Paharis, a linguistic group comprising both Muslims and Hindus, too will get reservation under Schedule Tribe (ST) category.
“Removal of Article 370 has paved the way for reservation in J&K. Justice Sharma’s commission has submitted its recommendations on reservation for Gujjar, Bakarwals and Pahari communities and it will be accepted. Paharis too will get reservation along with Gujjar and Bakerwals. The reservation quota of Gujjar and Bakerwals won’t be affected,” Mr. Shah said, while addressing a public rally in the Pir Panjal valley’s Rajouri district.
This is the second major step taken by the BJP for the smaller non-Kashmiri speaking communities in J&K. Earlier, the J&K delimitation commission this year reserved nine assembly seats for Scheduled Tribes (STs) and seven for Scheduled Castes (SC) in the 90-member J&K Assembly.
Mr. Shah said the delimitation commission was constituted to give due representation to Gujjars, Bakerwals and Pahari’s, “which otherwise was a dream”.
“I hope you (Paharis and Gujjars) will join hands and support us now to end the three-family rule in J&K,” Mr. Shah said, while referring indirectly to the National Conference (NC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Congress.
He said a sustained drive launched against terrorists and Hurriyat by Prime Minister Narendera Modi post August 5, 2019 against militants and Hurriyat “bore fruit”.
“Stones were replaced by laptops. Security personnel’s casualties have come down from 1,200 per year to 136 this year due to the Modi govt’s strong action against terrorists. J&K has emerged as the most secured place as the terrorism related incidents are all time low,” the Union minister said.
He said the Rajouri rally and the chants of ‘Modi Modi’ were an answer to those who used to say that if Article 370 is abrogated, there will be a bloodbath. “J&K youth are now competing like any other youth of the country in different fields,” he said. ““First time in the history, 1.62 crore tourists visited J&K since January 2022,” he added.
Mr. Shah said that Rs. 56000 crores outside investment has reached J&K. “It will ultimately provide employment to youth. We formed the Anti-Corruption Bureau to end corruption that remained on top in the past 70 years due to the family rule of three families. Earlier, all money sent by Centre for J&K’s development was usurped by a few but now everything is spent on people’s welfare,” the Home minister said.
He also praised the J&K Lieutenant Governor administration for announcing a holiday on the birth anniversary of Dogra monarch Maharaja Hari Singh.