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Amit Shah promises ST status to Pahari community in J&K

Shah said existing STs “will not lose anything”. He said that some people tried to instigate Gujjars and Bakerwals, but the people saw through their designs.

SNS | Jammu |

In a pre-election promise aimed at building BJP vote bank in assembly constituencies along the Line of Control (LOC), Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday announced that the Pahari community in J&K will soon get reservation under the Scheduled Tribe status.

Addressing a massive rally at Rajouri, which is near the LOC, Shah said the Modi government was aware of the discrimination the Pahari community faced during the earlier regimes. Formal notification of the reservation for Paharis will be made soon after completing the required formalities.

Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha, Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh and senior BJP leaders were present at the rally.

To allay apprehensions among the Gujjar community on the issue of ST quota to Paharis,

Shah said existing STs “will not lose anything”. He said that some people tried to instigate Gujjars and Bakerwals, but the people saw through their designs.

The Justice GD Sharma commission set up by the government has submitted its report and recommended reservation for Pahari and various other communities. It will be given soon; Shah said amidst cheers and applause.

He said such reservation become possible only after the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 was abrogated by the Modi government.

Leaders of Gujjar and Bakarwal communities met Shah at the Raj Bhavan here on Monday night to plead against tribal status for Paharis as they feared the reservation would cut their quota.

Targeting the 3-families, whom Shah did not name while addressing the rally, he said abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A has freed people of J&K from clutches of these families. His obvious reference was towards Abdullahs, Muftis and Congress.

Earlier, all funds sent by the Centre for development were usurped by a few, but now everything is spent on welfare of common masses, he said.

He also said that the security situation is far better now due to the strong action taken against terrorists by the Modi government.

War against corruption has been launched here.

Earlier in the morning, Shah paid obeisance at the Vaishnodevi shrine.

He also inaugurated several road, bridges, electric and other projects before flying to Srinagar. He will address a rally in north Kashmir’s Baramulla on Wednesday.