Says no change in reservation status of Gujjars, Bakerwals
Jammu: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Tuesday urged people not to get swayed by those “instigating” masses on the issue of reservation as they “are the same people who do not want peace and progress in the region”.
Sinha took part in a Janjatiya Samagam (tribal convention) on the launch of the weeklong festivities on the Janjatiya Gaurav Divas and paid tributes to iconic freedom fighter Birsa Munda on his birth anniversary.
He said Home Minister Amit Shah has assured the Gujjars and other communities their interests will be protected and there will be no reduction in their quota even by one per cent.
“I urge those undertaking Padyatra (against reservation) to return home. Some people with vested interest are spreading rumours on reservation. They are the same people who do not want peace and progress in the region”, the Lt Governor said.
He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is working tirelessly to fulfil the dreams of the tribal. Sinha said the government recognises the critical role and contribution of the tribal community in the development of J&K.
“They are prime mover of progress. The tribal community is our moral compass and taught us the values of co-existence, oneness, harmony and sustainable living,” the Lt Governor said.
On the occasion, the Lt governor shared various initiatives and resolutions taken by the government for the welfare of the tribal community and tribal youth.
“We are making dedicated efforts to harness the potential and channelise the productive energy of tribal youth and women so that new generations can transform the economic fortunes of their families and contribute to cultural and social vitality,” said the Lt Governor.
He further said that after decades of wait by the people of J&K, the prime minister has transformed the dream of social equity and justice into reality.
“We are promoting a culture of excellence in our schools in tribal-populated areas through smart classrooms. These schools will act as a vital source of new knowledge and innovative thinking, and as providers of highly skilled students,” the Lt governor said.
He said, “I am confident the Janjatiya Gaurav Saptah will not only celebrate the rich contribution of tribal community in Indian freedom but instill a sense of pride in the tribal tradition and cultural values.”
Earlier, the Lt governor launched a web portal for tribal awards which will streamline and bring transparency in nomination process.
Home Minister Amit Shah had last month announced the Pahari community of Jammu and Kashmir will get reservation benefits along with the nomadic Gujjar and Bakarwal populations.
The Gujjars and some other tribal communities of J&K who were listed as Scheduled Tribes in 1991 have been opposing the grant of such a status and other similar benefits to the Paharis with the argument that it will dilute the entire ST status.
Over the past few weeks, they have held protests at some places in the Jammu region. PTI