SRINAGAR: Following the recent extension of Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to the Pahari people and other communities in Jammu and Kashmir, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha reiterated that the existing reservation benefits for Gujjar and Bakerwal communities would remain unaffected.
While responding to queries during an interaction with journalists at Raj Bhawan, LG Sinha affirmed that the Pahari Ethnic and other tribes being granted reservation under the Scheduled Tribe (ST) category would constitute a separate group and would not diminish the reservation status of existing STs, including Gujjars and Bakerwals.
He confirmed that the existing tribes will continue to get their quota of 10 percent reservations and a new Sub Group will be created for reservations of new tribes being added under the ST category.
He said the tribes being inducted in STs will also get reservations in Government jobs and educational institutions besides the political reservations and benefits of all Central as well as Union Territory schemes.
Calling upon the Gujjars and Bakerwals not to get misled, he said their interests have been fully taken care of and protected by the Government.
He said the political leaders with vested interests are trying to create confusion as they did nothing for welfare of the people in Jammu and Kashmir during their tenure.
LG Sinha said that there were no political reservations to STs in Jammu and Kashmir and it was only after August 5, 2019 decisions of the Central Government (abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution of India) that the Delimitation Commission reserved nine seats for them in 90-seat Legislative Assembly of the UT.
“During a public rally, Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced the granting of Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to the Paharis, fulfilling their longstanding demand. This decision was in line with the recommendations of the Justice G D Sharma Commission, rectifying injustices against the marginalized sections of society in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.