Srinagar, Feb 09: Three days after being cleared by the LokSabha, the Raya Sabha on Friday approved the Constitution (Jammu and Kashmir) Scheduled Tribes Order (Amendment) Bill, 2023 to grant scheduled tribe (ST) status to Paharis and three other communities in the Union Territory.
The RajyaSabha today passed the bill to include Paharis, Paddaris, GaddaBraman and Koli communities in the Scheduled Tribes list of J&K.
The bill was passed in the Upper House via voice vote. With the passage of the bill in the RajyaSabha, the Paharis have now been included in the ST list. The bill was introduced in the LokSabha on July 26, 2023.
The RajyaSabha also cleared the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2023 to include Valmiki community in the Scheduled Caste list of J&K.
It is worthwhile to mention that the J & K administration has repeatedly maintained that ST status to Paharis won’t affect 10 percent reservation available to Gujjar-Bakerwal community.
On February 6, 2023, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha had stated that inclusion of these communities in the Scheduled Tribes list will have no impact on current level of reservations available to Gujjars, Bakarwals& other tribes & they will continue to get reservations like before.
“After the bill is cleared in RajyaSabha, the UT administration will issue necessary notifications ensuring that the people included in the existing list of Scheduled Tribes continue to get the same level of reservation,” Sinha had said. KNO