New hope for Paharis in Jammu and Kashmir

By: Zubair Qureshi/IANS

Srinagar: The recent historic decision of the Jammu and Kashmir administration to include 15 new castes in the SC category and the Pahari speaking people as an group has been received warmly.

This historic initiative will get rid of the treatment meted out to the people belonging to these castes and they will also get the right to equality in the society, the communities have said.

As per the notification issued by the Jammu and Kashmir administration recently, 15 castes have been included in the Scheduled Castes category. Among these castes, the names of Wage, Bhatti, Puniwala, Chang, Jat community, Sochi community, Christian Berardari, Teli (Hindu and existing Muslim), West Pakistani immigrants, Gurkha, Parna and Sini community, etc., are worth mentioning. In the notification, potters, shoe repairers, barbers, washermen, cobblers and dhooms (excluding Schedule Trab) have been changed.

The social caste list has been revised on the recommendations of the Jammu and Kashmir Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Commission constituted by the Jammu and Kashmir Administration in 2020. Former High Court judge G.D. Sharma heads the three-member panel.

The other major change made in the reservation rules of UTs was that the ‘Pahari speaking people’ were now designated as the ‘Pahari ethnic group’.

Under the reservation laws of the Jammu and Kashmir government, social castes have four per cent reservation in government jobs.

Abdul Majeed Zindadil, the prominent leader of the Pahari tribe, thanked the Central government and the UT administration during the conversation with IANS. He said that with this historic move, he was fully convinced that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was keeping his promise of welfare of the lower and middle class of the society.

“The historic steps Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken has given the Pahari tribe full confidence that very soon he will fulfill the promise he made to the Paharis from the ramparts of the Red Fort.”

It is worth noting that the Pahari tribe has been demanding inclusion in the category of Scheduled Tribes for decades. (IANS)

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