Thursday, Dec 08, 2022

Amit Shah’s J&K Visit: Reservations Announced For Paharis, Gujjars And Bakerwals; Security Beefed Up Across Valley

Amit Shah’s J&K Visit: Reservations Announced For Paharis, Gujjars And Bakerwals; Security Beefed Up Across Valley

As per the reports of the Sharma commission that reportedly submitted its recommendations to the Government just ahead of Union Home Minister’s valley visit, Paharis must be given ST status.

Amit Shah at Vaishno Devi
Amit Shah at Vaishno Devi Twitter

Amidst the tensions over the brutal murder of the DG (Prisons) in the valley, Union Home Minister Amit Shah declared that the Gujjar, Bakerwal and Pahari communities in Jammu and Kashmir will get reservation benefits in accordance with the recommendations of the Justice Sharma Commission which examined the relevance of the quota among different communities.

Shah also noted that there will be no decline in ST quota of Gujjars and Bakerwals and Paharis will get their deserved share.

Attributing the possibilities of reservations to the abrogation of Article 370 that led to the long-term communication shut down and the house arrest of several senior political leaders, Shah said that the deprived communities would now be entitled to get their long-due benefits.  

Justice Sharma Commission, according to sources, recommended reservation for the Pahari community just ahead of the scheduled visit of Union Home Minister. The recommendations made by Justice (retd.) G D Sharma however was contested by the Gujjars who thought that Pahris would take away their share.

"The Justice Sharma Commission has recommended and it includes Paharis, Bakerwal and Gujjars for ST quota benefits. These recommendations have been received and soon after completion of legal procedure, Gujjars, Bakerwals and Paharis will get the reservation benefits,” added Shah.

Referring to the antagonism among Gujjars and Bakerwals, the Minister said that some people though conspired to create conflict between communities, their efforts have been foiled.

Echoing his known attacks on dynastic politics, Shah attacked the Oppositions in the valley and said earlier just three political families used to rule the erstwhile state, but now with the power being vested with district councils and elected Panchayats, 30000 people have hold on it.  

Shah while blowing the trumpets of the elections said, “I want to appeal to you to free Jammu and Kashmir from the clutches of these three families and to make hands of Modi strong for betterment and welfare of Jammu and Kashmir.”

In direct reference to the developed security situation of the valley after the collapse of the special status, he said, "As a result, the death toll of security forces has come down from 1,200 every year to 136 this year.” Amit Shah is in Kashmir to examine the security situation of the valley.

Political Leaders Promising to Join BJP if Paharis are given ST status

In the eve of Shah’s visit to the valley, a few Pahari leaders of different parties promised to join BJP if given reservation. Two prominent leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the National Conference expressed their desire to emphasise the importance of reservation for their community.

According to sources, PDP district president Rajouri Tazeem Dar and senior NC leader Shafqat Mir gave this assurance to the union minister on Monday night.

Dar and Shafqat were part of the delegation of Pahari community that met the Home Minister on the very first day of his Kashmir visit.

Representatives of several other communities including Gujjars and Bakerwals, Sikhs, Dogra society, Yuva Rajput Sabha and Amar Kshatriya Rajput Sabha also met Shah and discussed their prospects in newly proposed reservations.

Criticising Shah’s political strategy PDP supremo Mehbooba Mufti earlier said that he is trying to play the game of division through the proposals of reservation.

Security Situation beefed up before Shah’s visit

Following the death of DG Lohia, several regions of Jammu were snapped of internet services. The shutdown will go on up to 7 pm today.

Citing Shah’s visit and emerging tensions, J&K administration sniffed potential ‘misuse by miscreants’ and shut the valley off for hours.

Ahead of addressing the rally in Rahouri, Shah visited the famous Mata Vaishno Devi shrine atop Trikuta hills in Jammu and Kashmir's Reasi district on Maha Navami festival and offered his prayers.

Accompanied by Lt Governor Manoj Sinha and Union Minister Jitendra Singh, the Home Minister arrived at Sanji Chhat by helicopter to pay his obeisance at the shrine.

Before coming to the shrine, Shah tweeted, "Wishing everyone a very happy Mahanavami. May maa Bhagwati shower her grace and blessings on everyone. Jai Mata Di!”

The officials said stringent security arrangements have been made at the shrine in view of the home minister's visit.

He was received by senior officers of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) including its Chief Executive Officer Anshul Garg and prominent people and religious leaders.

(WIth PTI Inputs)