Backward Area, LoC, IB reservations
Others will not be entitled outside Divn
JAMMU, May 27: In a controversial order, the State Government today allowed reservation benefits of Backward Areas and Line of Control (LoC) to all Kashmiri migrants even if they have settled outside the State while denying similar benefits to the people of International Border, which falls only in Jammu division, who have faced the brunt of Pakistan shelling as they would get reservations in case of shifting from one place to another only within the respective division.
An official order issued by the State Government today substituted a new paragraph to Clause-III of Rule 21 of Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Rules.
The Government order stated that a person who has migrated from Kashmir division (i.e. all Kashmiri migrants) for security reasons will not be disentitled from claiming the reservation benefits of Backward Area, LoC/ International Border even if he/ she had migrated outside the Division or even the State.
This, sources told the Excelsior, will make Kashmiri migrants eligible to benefits of reservations of Backward Areas and LoC/IB in Government jobs, educational institutions etc even if they have settled not only in Jammu/Ladakh (the two other divisions of the State) but also if they were putting up in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru or any other part of the country.
“The only rider for availing such reservations for the Kashmiri migrants is that they should have been registered as a migrant with the office of Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner (Migrants), Jammu,” the Government order issued today by the Social Welfare Department vide SRO No. 321, said.
Surprisingly, the Government has not extended similar benefits to the people of Backward Areas, LoC or International Border, who were not the Kashmiri migrants.
“The people of Backward Areas, LoC and International Border will not be disentitled from claiming the benefit of reservations on account of employment, business, other professional or vocational reasons or migration from one place to another place within the respective division due to security reasons,” the Government order read.
Sources said except Kashmiri migrants, other people of Backward Areas, LoC or IB will be entitled to reservations in case of job or business or even migration only within the respective division due to security reasons.
As the International Border falls only in Jammu division, the people of the border areas of Jammu posted in Kashmir or Ladakh divisions, will be deprived of the benefits of reservations while the Kashmiri migrants will be entitled to reservations even if they have settled outside the State, sources said, describing the order as “discriminatory”.
Similarly the people of Kashmir division (other than the migrants) or Ladakh division will lose the benefit of reservation in case of their employment or business in Jammu division.
However, to avail benefits of reservations of Backward Area, LoC and IB, the Government has reiterated the condition that he/she must establish that they have resided in the area for a period of not less than 15 years prior to the date of application
Asserting that the people living along LoC and IB have suffered a lot due to Pakistan shelling and firing and the IB people were given reservations only before general elections after a lot of struggle, the people regretted two criteria adopted by the Government in extending benefits of reservations to the Kashmiri migrants and other people.
They said there should be single criteria of reservations for all people of the State whether they are migrants or not.
It may be mentioned here that a large number of people have lost their lives in Pakistan shelling and firing on the Line of Control and International Border in Jammu region. It may be mentioned here that Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts share International Border with Pakistan while Rajouri and Poonch districts share LoC with Pakistan.
Majority of shelling and firing incidents by Pakistan are reported in these five districts of the State.
The people of IB in Jammu region were given benefits of reservation only three months back while those living on LoC were getting these benefits for last several years.
Backward Area, LoC, IB reservations