Gujjars, Bakerwals, Paharis in Jammu and Kashmir to get quota benefits, says Amit Shah | The Financial Express

Gujjars, Bakerwals, Paharis in Jammu and Kashmir to get quota benefits, says Amit Shah

The home minister said some people have tried to instigate the Gujjars and Bakerwals in the name of ST status being given to Paharis.

Gujjars, Bakerwals, Paharis in Jammu and Kashmir to get quota benefits, says Amit Shah
Shah said there will be no decline in ST quota of Gujjars, Bakerwals and Paharis.

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 issue of quota, union home minister Amit Shah on Tuesday announced.

According to an official statement, Shah made the statement while addressing a rally organised in the town, situated at the foothills of the Pir Panjal mountain range along the Indo-Pak border.

Shah further said there will be no decline in ST quota of Gujjars, Bakerwals and Paharis and everyone will get their share. He said the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019 has paved the way for providing reservation benefits to the deprived sections of the society in Jammu and Kashmir.

“The Justice Sharma Commission has recommended that Paharis, Bakerwal and Gujjars should be included 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,” he said.

The home minister said some people have tried to instigate the Gujjars and Bakerwals in the name of ST status being given to Paharis but the people have foiled their design.

There have been reports of protests by the Gujjars and Bakerwals in Jammu and Shopian in Kashmir recently against the move to grant ST status to the Paharis. The Gujjars and Bakerwals constitute 40% of the population in the border districts of Rajouri and Poonch. Paharis also live in the same area but they are numerically small.

The Gujjars and Bakerwals are the third largest ethnic group in Jammu and Kashmir after Kashmiris and Dogras. Since April 1991, they have enjoyed benefits of 10% quota for STs in jobs and educational institutions. The Paharis are also seeking same benefits, which was opposed by the Gujjar and Bakarwals.

Since January 2020, the Paharis have been getting 4% quota benefits in jobs and educational institutions in Jammu and Kashmir following a change of rules by the Union Territory administration. This was also opposed by the Gujjars and Bakerwals, saying they get benefits under other categories such as OBC, EWS.

Coming down heavily on the Opposition in Jammu and Kashmir, Shah said earlier just three political families used to rule the erstwhile state, but now power is with 30,000 people who were elected to panchayats and district councils through fair elections.
Referring to the possibility of holding assembly elections, he said delimitation exercise was carried out before holding the Assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Delimitation was necessary before polls as earlier delimitation was not as per norms. Now, the delimitation has been done as per norms and there is increase in no of seats in hilly areas like Rajouri, Poonch, Doda, Kishtwar,” he said.

With inputs from PTI

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