Bill to grant ST status to Paharis: Manipur-like situation in Jammu and Kashmir as ethnic groups show dissent


New Delhi: Protests errupted in Jammu and Kashmir with Gujjars and Bakerwals strongly opposing the inclusion of upper castes in the Schedule Tribe (ST) lists. The Bill has been introduced that will grant ST status to Paharis community.

The dissent spread among the two communities after the Centre intoduced the Constitution (Jammu and Kashmir) Scheduled Tribes Order (Amendment) Bill, 2023 in Lok Sabha.

Gujjars and Bakerwals expressed satisfaction over the decision citing that they fought for the ST status for decades and they lived peacefully after they recieved it. The protestors said they are trying to safeguard the rights of tribals, not only in the Jammu and Kashmir valley but in the entire nation.

The Centre has tabled three separate Bills – Constitution (J&K) Scheduled Castes Order (Amendment) Bill, 2023, the Constitution (J&K) Scheduled Tribes Order (Amendment) Bill, 2023 and the J&K Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023.

If the Bills get approval then Paharis, Gadda Brahmins and Koli community will get the ST status that will affect the quota structure for education and employment in Jammu and Kashmir.

Fearing that once the Paharis get the ST status, they will also get the benefits extended to this category, alleging the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government is trying to dilute the OSC/OBC reservation by inducting the upper castes/classes and other castes.

Despite constant opposition against the its intention, the central government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is making attempts to include non-OBC members to this category since 2022.

Situation Like Manipur  

The situation in Union Territory is delicate considering the dissented commnunities are upset with the Centre’s ‘desperate attempts to dilute the OBC/OSC.’ Earlier the communities had threatened to hit the road if the Centre do not withdraw the Bill, which the both sides have come down to.

Similarly in Manipur, the root cause of the violence was the judiciary allowing government to make decision on giving ST status to Meitei community, that already has large representation in the Asembly.

This was extremely opposed by the Kuki community that led to bloodbath, sexual assualt and violent protests.

The post Bill to grant ST status to Paharis: Manipur-like situation in Jammu and Kashmir as ethnic groups show dissent appeared first on News24.

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Bill to grant ST status to Paharis: Manipur-like situation in Jammu and Kashmir as ethnic groups show dissent
Bill to grant ST status to Paharis: Manipur-like situation in Jammu and Kashmir as ethnic groups show dissent
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