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regular-article-logo Saturday, 15 June 2024

J&K: Tribal body to stage protests over introduction of Pahari quota bill in Parliament

Gujjars and Bakerwals, the third-largest community in Jammu and Kashmir, would not allow their rights to be taken away and given to upper-caste individuals, an advocate said

PTI Jammu Published 19.07.23, 08:58 AM
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Representational image File picture

The All Reserved Categories Joint Action Committee (ARCJAC), an apex body representing tribal communities, has issued a stern warning that it will stage protests on the streets if a bill proposing reservation for Paharis is introduced in the upcoming session of Parliament.

Speaking on behalf of the ARCJAC, advocate Anwar Choudhary expressed strong opposition to the bill, claiming that it is illegal and unconstitutional.

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He contended that Paharis do not meet the criteria for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status and emphasised that the bill should not even be discussed but dropped entirely.

Another advocate, Mohammad Azam, raised the issue of population dynamics, asserting that the Paharis have a larger population than the Gujjars.

He warned the government that if the bill is pursued, the ruling BJP would face defeat in every Assembly seat in the Jammu region.

Advocate Mohammad Ayoub Choudhary sent a strong message to the government, emphasising that the Gujjars and Bakerwals, the third-largest community in Jammu and Kashmir, would not allow their rights to be taken away and given to upper-caste individuals.

He warned that they have the potential to influence the electoral outcome in 60 Assembly seats and cautioned that controlling the situation would become difficult if people took to the streets.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah said in October last year that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in favour of reservation for Paharis and that the quota would be implemented in the near future.

"Justice Sharma has recommended Scheduled Tribe status for Paharis. Prime Minister Modi is going to implement the recommendation," Shah had said while addressing a mega rally in Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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