GBJAC suspends ‘Paidal March’ after assurance from Amit Shah

Members of GBJAC addressing press conference in Jammu on Monday. -Excelsior/Rakesh
Members of GBJAC addressing press conference in Jammu on Monday. -Excelsior/Rakesh

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Nov 28: Gujjar-Bakerwals Joint Action Committee (GBJAC) has said that they have suspended their on-foot march after assurance by the Union Home Minister, Amit Shah in Delhi that the share of Gujjars-Bakerwals in reservation will not be diluted.
Addressing a press conference here today, Talib Hussain, chief spokesperson of GBJAC said that a delegation of Gujjar-Bekrwals under the chairmanship of Haji Mohd Yousuf Majnoo met the Union Home Minister in Delhi recently and the ST community delegation expressed apprehensions with regard to dilution of the reservation share of the STs after providing ST status to the Paharis.
He said that upper castes should not be provided ST status as they have already been covered under Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) category. He termed the Justice G D Sharma report as biased and demanded roll back on the recommendations of the said Commission. He said that Gujjars and Bakerwals strongly oppose the ST status to the Paharis.
While referring to the meeting of the delegation with the Home Minister in Delhi and his firm assurance that the reservation quota of Gujjars-Bakerwals will not be diluted, Talib Hussain said that members of this community have suspended their ongoing `onfoot March’ from Kupwara to Lakhanpur in Kathua. He said this 18-day Paidal March which was started from Kupwara on Nov 9, has already covered 12 districts. Now, in view of the assurance by the Home Minister Amit Shah this Yatra has been suspended.
He said the members of Gujjar- Bakewral community now need not be panicky over the issue. The Home Minister has assured that their 10 % quota and other benefits will not be disturbed. The Paharis will get their own separate share. He had also assured that their all the due rights and benefits will be protected. Funds meant for them, share in jobs, admissions and political reservation will remain safe and intact for Gujjars and Bakerwals, the HM has assured.
Talib Hussain said that purpose of this conference was to make ST community aware of the delegations visit to Delhi and meeting with Home Minister and assurance received from him.