BJP MLA and former minister Chaudhary Lal Singh on Monday asked government employees in the Jammu region to proceed on mass casual leave on 23 September to celebrate the birth anniversary of the erstwhile Dogra ruler of Jammu and Kashmir, Maharaja Hari Singh.
Lal Singh, who had recently formed the Dogra Swavbhman Manch to safeguard the interests of Jammu region, said it was unfortunate that the successive Kashmir-dominated governments had rejected the demand for public holiday on Maharaja Hari Singh’s birthday although he was known to have laid infrastructure of education and development in the Valley.
“The erstwhile Dogra rulers never discriminated against the Kashmir valley but the present day Kashmiri leadership was treating the Dogras of Jammu as second-grade citizens of the state,” he alleged.
Lal Singh accused the Kashmiri leadership of discriminating against the youth of Jammu in the matter of employment and demanded a separate public service commission and subordinate services selection board for the Jammu region. “The youth of Jammu were deliberately being denied employment by the public service commission,” he alleged.
He alleged that the census figures of the Jammu region were incorrect under a “conspiracy” to show the population of the Kashmir more than that of Jammu. The geographical area of Jammu was many times more than that of Kashmir but the population of Jammu has “deliberately” been shown less than that of Kashmir.
Lal Singh, who was sacked from the BJP-PDP ministry for seeking CBI probe into the alleged rape-murder of a minor girl in Kathua, reiterated his demand for a CBI inquiry as the crime branch team that investigated into the crime had a couple of tainted police officers, he said.
He accused the former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti of having allowed the issue to be given a communal colour by various Kashmir based political parties and also the separatists.
Lal Singh urged the people of Jammu to participate in large numbers in the Independence Day celebrations being organised by the Dogra Swavbhiman Manch at Satwari near the airport.
He refused to comment on the controversy regarding the Article 35A that prohibits residents of other states of the country to acquire property in J-K.