By: Nasir Azam
Srinagar: The Parliamentary Committee on the Welfare of Schedule Castes (SCs) and Schedule Tribes (STs) is set to visit Kashmir on April 14.
Headed by BJP’s MP from Gujarat, Kirit Premjibhai Solanki, the panel will undertake a study tour of Srinagar next week to look into the matters concerning SCs and STs, sources told KNO.
Ahead of the visit, Jammu & Kashmir government has designated director Social Welfare Kashmir as nodal officer to coordinate between divisional administration and other agencies for making necessary arrangements for the study tour of MPs.
The panel undertakes tours to study the problems of the scheduled castes and scheduled Tribes and the measures taken or being taken for their welfare and prepares reports which are tabled in the Parliament.
J&K has 19 percent SC and ST population- 7.38 percent Scheduled Caste (SC) and 11.91% Scheduled Tribe (ST).
Both the communities have political reservation in Jammu and Kashmir. Before enactment of “The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act”, only SCs had reservation in the Assembly of erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. Seven seats were reserved for SCs in the Assembly.
The delimitation commission is expected to reserve 18 seats for SCs and STs in Assembly of J&K UT. Of which 11 seats would be earmarked for STs and seven for SCs.
Over the past few years, there have been instances of members from Gujjar- Bakerwal community being assaulted by hoodlums in Jammu.
Earlier this year, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture visited Kashmir and recommended a slew of measures for improving road connectivity and giving impetus to the tourism sector in the Union Territory.