The Jammu and Kashmir government has granted 3% reservation to the residents of villages along the International Border (IB) with Pakistan, thus bringing them on par with the residents of the villages at the Line of Control (LoC).
The state administrative council (SAC), headed by Governor Satya Pal Malik, is learnt to have on Wednesday evening approved the proposal to provide reservation to residents of the IB villages to bring them on par with those on the LoC.
People residing along the IB have been accusing the successive governments of discriminating with them by depriving them of job reservation that was granted to those residing along the LOC and the Line of Actual Control (LAC) along with China.
Governor Malik had recently granted 3% reservation to the Pahari speaking people of the state. Those living within a radius of 6 km of the IB between Akhnoor of Jammu district and Paharpur of Kathua will be entitled to reservation in jobs and professional institutions.
About 385 villages, covering a population of nearly 3 lakh in the three districts of Jammu, Samba, and Kathua, will be benefited.
Residents of the IB claim that they have been facing shelling by Pakistan Rangers almost on a daily basis, as a result of which people were getting killed or maimed. Their properties were also getting destroyed and cattleheads perishing and they have to frequently shift to migrant camps.
They have been alleging that the residents of the LOC and LAC, who mostly belong to a particular community, were given job reservations long back while those suffering on the IB were being unfairly treated.
The BJP, during the 2014 elections, had promised job reservation to residents of IB on par with those of LOC. The State Commission for Backward Classes had some time back recommended 3% reservation for the residents of IB.
It is also being alleged that the residents of the Kashmir valley were benefitting the most out of the 20% reservation that is available to Residents of Backward Area (RBA). About 2800 villages of Kashmir and about 428 of Jammu division fall under the RBA category.
The Commission has reportedly recommended that 60 more villages, 30 each of Jammu and the valley, be given the benefit of RBA.