Gujjar, Bakerwal, Paharis to get reservation benefits as per Sharma Panel recommendations: Shah

Union Home Minister Amit Shah addressing a mammoth public meeting in Rajouri on Tuesday.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah addressing a mammoth public meeting in Rajouri on Tuesday.

‘No decline in ST quota of G&Bs, everyone will get their share’
Earlier 3 families ruled J&K, now power is with 30,000 elected Reps
Modi snatched stones from youth’s hands, gave them laptops, jobs
Terror supporters in Govt shunted out, strong drive against militants, Hurriyat
Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Oct 4: Union Home Minister Amit Shah today announced that the Gujjar, Bakerwal and Pahari communities in Jammu and Kashmir will get reservation benefits in accordance with the recommendations of the Justice Sharma Commission which examined the issue of quota.
Without naming National Conference and People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Shah said only three families ruled erstwhile State but now 30,000 public representatives (of the Panchayati Raj Institutions) are ruling the UT.
Addressing a historic public rally in Rajouri town this afternoon, he said delimitation exercise has been carried out in Jammu and Kashmir which was necessary to hold Assembly elections.
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Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, Union Minister of State in the PMO Dr Jitendra Singh, Jugal Kishore Sharma and Ghulam Ali Khatana, MPs and BJP UT chief Ravinder Raina were among prominent dignitaries who attended the rally.
Such was response to the rally that many people who had travelled from hilly areas and far off belts couldn’t find a space at the venue which was jam packed. Many people climbed at rooftops, scaled walls and sat on trees to have a glimpse of Amit Shah as this was his first rally in the border district as the Home Minister.
Administration and security agencies had a tough time to adjust the people as majority of them wanted to reach to the rally venue to listen to Shah. Though people from all communities attended the rally, there was slight dominance of Paharis who wanted to greet the Home Minister for including them in the ST status along with Gujjars and Bakerwals.
Crowd responded enthusiastically to the Union Home Minister’s slogan of `Bharat Mata Ki Jai’.
Shah said there will be no decline in ST quota of Gujjars and Bakerwals and Paharis and everyone will get their share.
He said the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019 has paved the way for providing reservation benefits to the deprived sections of the society in Jammu and Kashmir.
“The Justice Sharma Commission has recommended that Paharis, Bakerwals and Gujjars should be included for ST quota benefits. These recommendations have been received and soon after completion of legal procedure, Gujjars, Bakerwals and Paharis will get the reservation benefits,” he said.
The Home Minister said some people have tried to instigate the Gujjars and Bakerwals in the name of ST status being given to Paharis but the people have foiled their design.
The Home Minister said tribal reservation has become possible in Jammu and Kashmir only after abrogation of Articles 35-A and 370.
He alleged that those who ruled Jammu and Kashmir for 70 years “wanted to keep Paharis crushed and pushed their voice. Now it is turn of Paharis to get their right in Jammu and Kashmir”.
Coming down heavily on the Opposition in Jammu and Kashmir, Shah said earlier just three political families used to rule the erstwhile State, but now power is with 30,000 people who were elected to Panchayats and District Councils through fair elections.
Referring to the possibility of holding Assembly elections, he said delimitation exercise was carried out before holding the Assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Delimitation was necessary before polls as earlier delimitation was not as per norms. Now, the delimitation has been done as per norms and there is increase in number of seats in hilly areas like Rajouri, Poonch, Doda and Kishtwar,” he said.
Shah said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised elections after abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019.
Modi had held local body polls and handed over the power to the 30,000 elected representatives of local bodies, he said.
Earlier power was with three families, 87 MLAs, 6 MPs. With abrogation of Articles 35-A and 370, all downtrodden societies including Paharis in Jammu and Kashmir are getting or going to get their rights, he said.
Shah said the development of Jammu and Kashmir is Modi’s priority.
“Earlier, all money sent by the Centre for development was usurped by a few, but now everything is spent on people’s welfare,” he said.
“I want to appeal to you to free Jammu and Kashmir from the clutches of these three families and to make hands of Modi strong for betterment and welfare of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
Shah did not take names of the three families but the indications were obvious towards Abdullahs, Muftis and Nehru-Gandhi.
He also said security situation in Jammu and Kashmir is far better now than earlier due to the strong action taken against militants by the Modi Government.
“As a result, the death toll of security forces has come down from 1,200 every year to 136 this year,” he said.
Shah said there were 4,766 terror incidents from 2006-2013 in Jammu and Kashmir during the Congress rule but the number has come down to 721 in 2019-22.
“Today’s rally is a befitting reply to those who used to say that there would be blood bath if Article 370 is abrogated,” he said.
The Home Minister said Modi snatched stones from the hands of stone pelters in Kashmir and handed them laptops and jobs and this has resulted an end to stone pelting.
“The decline in number of deaths of security forces shows that Jammu and Kashmir is in safe hands now,” he said, adding the Modi Government has started strong drive against terrorism, stone pelters and Hurriyat Conference
He also appreciated the Union Territory administration’s decision to announce a holiday on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Maharaja Hari Singh, the erstwhile ruler of Jammu and Kashmir, who signed the instrument of accession.
Shah also praised the people living in Rajouri and Poonch who are “standing like rocks for security of India” and said entire country salutes them.
“Paharis, Gujjars and Bakerwals always stood for country whenever there was risk on India. Mountains of Rajouri and Poonch are guardians of LoC of India,” he said.
Shah said 42,000 people lost their lives to terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir over the years but security situation has improved now to such an extent that no one dares to call a hartal or indulge in stone-pelting.
Shah also said the Modi Government wants to end terrorism, corruption, bring all-round development and make Jammu and Kashmir number one in the country.
A zero tolerance policy has been adopted towards terrorism, ensuring complete control of the security forces over the situation, he said, while inaugurating or laying foundation stones of development projects at the Jammu Convention Centre.
He said, “42,000 people lost their lives due to terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. Those who support terrorism sitting in the government were identified and action has been taken.”
Those who used to call ‘hartal’ or pelt stones on security forces were curbed totally and now no one has courage to give any such call, he said. “Do you know why there is not a single stone-pelting incident in Kashmir now. Because stone-pelters were sitting in the Government at that time.”
He also said there has not been a single encounter now as militants were given an opportunity to surrender.
Shah said terror incidents have come down by 56 per cent and casualties among security forces by 84 per cent. Recruitment as terror cadres has also come down, he said.
Holding J&K’s three political families responsible for the “backwardness” of Jammu and Kashmir, he said the UT lagged behind on all development parameters due to their alleged misrule.
But the situation changed after 2014 as the Modi government gave priority to Jammu and Kashmir’s development, and it is progressing well now, Shah said.
He said there has been big changes ever since Article 370 and Article 35-A were abrogated on August 5, 2019.
The Home Minister said that from independence till 2019, investments worth just Rs 19,000 crore had come to Jammu and Kashmir. But after 2019, Rs 56,000-crore worth investment has come to Jammu and Kashmir, the Home Minister said.
He said as many as 27 lakh people of Jammu and Kashmir are now getting health insurance benefits of up to Rs 5 lakh while 58 per cent people getting piped water in their homes.
Those eligible are also getting STs quota benefits, he said.
Those who wanted to indulge in corruption continue to do so for 75 years which stopped in 2019.
He also referred to the Rs 80,000 crore development projects announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi a few years ago saying the projects are progressing well while some have already been fully implemented.
The package consists of 63 projects concerning 15 ministries and has an outlay of Rs 80,068 crore.
Shah inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of 263 development projects worth Rs.1960 crore in Jammu today. These include the inauguration of 82 projects of around Rs 500 crore and foundation stone laying of 181 projects of around Rs 1460 crore.
The Home Minister said that 14 projects of Urban Development Department costing Rs 31 crore, construction of 48 roads costing Rs 402 crore, Jal Jeevan Mission costing Rs 168 crore and 41 schemes worth Rs 1112 crore have been launched to connect every village of Jammu with road. He said that about 77 lakh cards under Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana have been issued.
Under the Saubhagya scheme, Prime Minister Narendra Mod has worked to provide electricity to 8 lakh 57 thousand such houses where electricity was not available even after 75 years of independence.
He said that this journey of development is an answer to those who used to ask what has happened after the abrogation of Article 370. He added that it is a great achievement to have one thousand PACS in Jammu and Kashmir because it is beneficial for farmers.
Amit Shah said that for the first time, it is Prime Minister Modi, who has worked to recognize Kashmiri, Dogri, Urdu and Hindi as official languages because if the language of governance is local then the administration becomes more accountable.
“Today Jammu and Kashmir is progressing in every field under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” Shah said, adding “the country can never forget the contribution of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee and Premnath Dogra for the abolition of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir because if these two persons were not there, then Jammu and Kashmir could never have a permanent association with India.”
Modi has done the work of taking the movement led by these two great personalities to the logical end, he said.
He said work on Rs 4,633 crore car scheme, Rs 2,793 crore Shahpur Kandi and Rs 11,908 crore Poonch power project will start soon.
The Union Home Minister said that to control corruption, the Anti-Corruption Bureau was created in Jammu and Kashmir, Whistleblower Act was implemented, complaint registration via mobile was initiated through UMANG, ‘SatarkNagrik’ mobile application was launched, Vigilance offices have been opened and Electronic Vigilance Clearance System has also been installed.
He said that tourism is the biggest source of employment in Jammu and Kashmir and since January, 2022 till date, 1.62 crore tourists have visited Jammu and Kashmir, which is the highest in 75 years of Independence. He said that tourism has generated maximum employment in various regions of Jammu and Kashmir including Poonch, Rajouri, Jammu and the Valley.
Shah said that for 70 years the people had been demanding international flights from Jammu and Kashmir. Fulfilling this popular demand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has started direct flight from Srinagar to Sharjah. Earlier there was no flight during the night from Srinagar and Jammu, Modi has started night flights from the city, he added.
The Union Home and Cooperation Minister said that earlier no one could have imagined a Medical College in Rajouri. “But, today by opening a medical college here, Modi has not only given an opportunity to the youth of this place to become doctors, but has also provided free healthcare to all the residents of this place, so that the people in the region would no longer have to go to Jammu for treatment. Along with this, Medical Colleges have also been opened in Kathua, Doda, Anantnag, Baramulla. Under the leadership of the Prime Minister, the Government of India spent Rs. 139 crore for the Medical College in Rajouri only. With an expenditure of Rs. 480 crore the work of construction of Rajouri, Dhannamandi and Surankot Road has also been furthered. Under the Border Area Development Execution Plan, the Prime Minister has allocated Rs. 21 crore and initiated 28 schemes. Under the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojana, 3,167 km of roads have been constructed. The PM has also allocated Rs. 1,337 crore for the four laning of the Jammu-Poonch highway,” Shah said.
He said that Modi has provided electricity for the first time to more than 20,000 houses in the hilly areas of Jammu and Kashmir. After 75 years, electricity has reached homes in the region. Electricity has been ensured to 3.80 lakh houses across Jammu and Kashmir. A lot of work has been done under the Prime Minister’s Development Package. These include 624 MW Kiru HEP project, 540 MW Kar HEP project and ShahpurKundi Irrigation and Power Project.
Shah said that AIIMS, IIT, Indian Institute of Management, Indian Institute of Mass Communication etc. have been set up in Jammu. Medical colleges and GMC institutions have also been built here. ” Many support groups, more than 4,500 youth clubs and many other plans have also been formed. About two lakh people have been provided homes in Jammu and Kashmir. Work has been done to ensure tap water to five lakh houses. Poshan Abhiyan, Matru Vandana Yojana and Health Mission have also been taken forward,” Shah added.
The Union Home Minister said that the energy of Narendra Modi is boosted by the love of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. He said hills of Pir Panjal have been protected by the people for centuries, and their ancestors have shed their blood to protect the borders of India. “Today, like the rest of the country, the youth of Rajouri and Poonch should also be employed and entrepreneurship should be promoted in the region,” he added.
Meanwhile, around two dozen delegations from Kashmir today met the Union Home Minister at Rajbawan in Srinagar soon after his arrival.
The delegations that met the Union Home Minister include those of traders, fruit growers, politicians and the tourism players.
All Jammu and Kashmir Transport Association Chairman, Ajit Singh, Bilal Parray, a politician affiliated with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Civil Society member Farooq Renzu Shah, who is also a retired bureaucrat, Mehraj ud Din Rather, a political social activist from Sumbal Sonawari, Abrar Ahmad President of Batamaloo Trade Union, Javid Beigh, Politician (Budgam), Mubashir Ahmad, President Kashmir Pashmina Organization, Javed Burza (Hotelier), Sanjay Saraf LJP leader, Manzoor Pakhtoon, from TAFI, Sameer Ahmad Baktoo President of Eco Tourism, Rouf Tramboo President of Adventure Tourism, Nasir Shah Chairman Tourism Alliance, Sheikh Ashiq president KCCI, Mirwaiz Central Kashmir Abdul Latief, President Fruit Growers Bashir Ahmad, Shahid Kamili President of Chamber of Industries, Singer Gulzar Ganie and a delegation of Apni party headed by Altaf Bukhari met visiting Union Home Minister at Raj Bhavan.
The delegations apprised Amit Shah about various issues being faced by them.
The delegation of Batmaloo Trade Union highlighted the issues faced by the traders in Batmaloo after shifting of the Bus Stand to Parimpora and disallowing entry of taxis from districts to Batmaloo.
The delegation of Kashmir Pashmina Organization highlighted the issues faced by the people related to the trade. They demanded rehabilitation of the traders and workers.
The KCCI delegation raised the issues faced by the traders and including losses suffered by the traders due in COVID. They also raised the issue of fruit growers who are suffering losses.
The Chamber of Industries delegation highlighted the issues faced by the Industries.
The Fruit Growers delegation highlighted the recent losses faced by the fruit growers whose truckers were stuck on the highway for two weeks. They also raised the issue of low demand of Kashmiri apples and walnuts due to importing free fruit from Iran, United States and other countries to India.
The delegation of Apni Party led by its president Syed Altaf Bukhari included Ghulam Hassan Mir, Muhammad Ashraf Mir, Junaid Azim Mattu, Usman Majeed, Zaffar Manhas, Rafi Ahmad Mir, and Dilawar Mir.

Rs 3854.46 cr worth development works inaugurated/started
Union Home Minister Amit Shah today inaugurated/laid foundation of development works worth Rs 1915.04 crore in Jammu while tomorrow he will inaugurate/lay foundation stone of Rs 1939.42 crore works in Srinagar.
Total cost of the projects is Rs 3854.46 crore, the officials said.
Tomorrow, Shah will lay foundation stone of three transit accommodation (864 BHK) worth Rs 104.07 crore at Babadaryadin at Ganderbal, Allowpora Phase-I in Shopian and Odina at Sumbal.
He will inaugurate Urban Development projects in Kashmir division worth Rs 18.53 crore, 74 roads constructed at a cost of Rs 442.58 crore, 7 bridges worth Rs 23.40 crore and one building constructed at a cost of Rs 4.97 crore.
He will lay foundation stone of 94 roads to be constructed at the cost of Rs 511.66 crore.
The Home Minister will inaugurate 20 power projects worth Rs 200.14 crore.
He will also lay foundation stone of 15 Water Supply Schemes in Kashmir under Jal Jeevan Mission costing Rs 107.45 crore.