Jammu, Aug 12: Taking exception to the reports appeared in local press with regards to grant ST status to 'Pahari speaking people' of the Jammu and Kashmir, the J&K Gujjar-Bakerwal Coordination Committee (Poonch –Rajouri Wing) members and leaders of ST/SC Communities of J&K Friday appealed the Home Minister of India Amit Shah to intervene in the matter so that any linguistic group including ‘Pahari speaking people’ should not enter into the ambit of the Scheduled Tribes.
The leaders of various communities including Gujjars, Bakerwals, Gaddis, Sippis, Dalits (Scheduled Castes) stated that such a move will adversely affect the development of tribes of the Union Territory.
They said that the demand for grant of ST status – by Pahari-speaking people is based on the sole premises of linguistic identity.
The leaders stated that the majority of Pahari speaking people belong to the upper class Muslims like Syeds, Qazi, Peer, Beig, Raja, Malik, Mirza, Khan, Mughals, Rajputs and upper caste Hindus which constitute Brahmins, Rajputs, Mahajans and others.
Being developed classes of society they are far ahead in education, socio- economic status in comparison with the STs of Jammu and Kashmir and being backward ST will lose future in case Paharis enter into the ST category.
The leaders said that Paharis are already enjoying 4% reservation under the Actual Control Line habitat, 10% under RBA, 4% under Other Social Castes, 10% under Economically Weaker Section, 4% under Pahari Speaking besides 48% General Category and now they are trying to share in 10% reservation with the STs.
The leaders said that the Pahari being the affluent ruling upper class people, do not suffer from the social stigma. Their demand of the Pahari speaking people is merely based on the premises of language while the dialect or the language is not any criteria to declare any class as Scheduled Tribe.
Those who addressed the Press Conference included Ch. Ishtiaq Bhatti- Gujjar leader, ParvezChouhan- head Tribal Women Group , Prof (Dr.) G L Thapa, president JKRCEA, Sham LalBasson, Corporator, President, Dalit ChetanaManch and General Secretary, Shree Guru Ravi Das Sabha, MohinderBhagat, working general secretary, JKRCEA, Romesh Kumar Bhasin, SE retired, Surrender Devgowda, Prof. Kali Dass, general secretary, AIBCU.
Others who spoke on the occasions were SadiqChowdhary State President Gujjars Youth forum J&K, Dr.Saghir Ahmed, Er.TahirMehmood, Er.ShowkatChowdhary, ShafiqChwdhary, NayeemChowdhary (Kathua), Ch.Ghulam, RiffatChowdhary (Rajouri), IsrarChowdhary (Rajouri), ErShoket Ali JKG TWC block president Manjakote, district Rajouri.