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L-G admin’s ad blitzkrieg on ST status to Paharis

In order to put forth a government point of view on the ‘sensitive’ issue, the administration has gone on an advertisement blitzkrieg.

Screenshot 2024 02 10 112739SRINAGAR: With the Gujjar and Bakerwal communities showing resentment over passage of a bill in Parliament to grant the Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to Paharis and Gadda Brahmin and two other communities in Jammu and Kashmir, Lt Governor administration on Friday launched an advertisement blitzkrieg in the UT to defend granting of ST status to four new communities saying there would be no reduction in 10 per cent ST reservation quota for the existing communities including Gujjars and Bakerwals.

In order to put forth a government point of view on the ‘sensitive’ issue, the administration has gone on an advertisement blitzkrieg. The government published a full-page advertisement in the local newspapers.

In the advertisements with the title “Empowering Tribals, Transforming J&K”, the government disclosed that Gujjar and Bakerwals, Balti, Beda, Bot, Bota, Brokpa, Drokpa, Dard, Shin, Changpa, Garra, Mon, Purigpa, Gaddi and Sippi are presently enjoying the ST status in J&K.

It said that additional committees who will get benefits of ST reservation after passage of the bill include Paharis, Paddari, Koli and Gadda Brahmin. The ST status to the 4 additional communities is based on SEBC Commission recommendations. “The existing communities including Gujjar and Bakerwal will continue to get the 10 per cent reservation and there will be no reduction in it,” they added.

The Gujjar and Bakerwal community leaders have opposed the inclusion of the ‘elites’ Paharis and Gadda Brahmins in the list. Guftar Ahmed Choudhary, a Gujjar youth leader said it a “wrong decision” and a big setback for Gujjar and Bakerwal community.

“How can Gupta, Mahajan, Brahmin, Sayeed, Mirza and other top castes be given ST status? This has happened for the first time in India that ST status has been given on the basis of language,” he said.

Convenor All J&K Gujjar Bakerwal Organisations Coordination committee, Advocate Anwar Choudhary termed it as injustice with the Gujjar and Bakerwal community and said they would challenge the passage of law in the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, the high speed internet service was restored in Gujjar and Bakewal dominated districts of Poonch and Rajouri on Friday. The internet service was suspended in the twin districts after passage of a bill in Lok Sabha to grant ST status to Paharis and three other communities.

The Gujjar and Bakerwal community enjoy 10% reservation in education and government employment in J&K.s

Internet service restored

The high speed internet service was restored in Gujjar and Bakewal dominated districts of Poonch and Rajouri on Friday. The internet service was suspended in the twin districts after passage of a bill in Lok Sabha to grant ST status to Paharis and three other communities.

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