Monday, Nov 24, 2014

Will give up J-K residency rights if Minority Act diluted: Sikh group

File photo: Members of the Kashmiri Pandit Community shouting slogans during a demonstration to press for their demands in Jammu. File photo: Members of the Kashmiri Pandit Community shouting slogans during a demonstration to press for their demands in Jammu.
Press Trust of India | Posted: February 22, 2014 4:37 pm | Updated: February 22, 2014 4:39 pm

A Sikh organisation in Kashmir today said that the members of the community would surrender their residency rights in Jammu and Kashmir as a mark of protest if the state government went ahead with any move to dilute the Minority Act.

“We are against any dilution of or amendment in the National Commission for Minorities Act. Parliamentary panels’ recommendations regarding the Act are biased and cannot be accepted,” Chairman of the All Parties Sikh Coordination Committee (APSCC), Jagmohan Singh Raina, said in a statement here.

Claiming that the approach of the different political parties towards the people of Kashmir has always been “controversial”, he said, “These leaders get influenced by wrong information given to them by people or agencies with vested interests.

“Such information has always harmed the policies towards Kashmir and even today the approach and recommendation to the state government is against the real minority here, which is the Sikhs. We will oppose tooth and nail the recommendations that violate existing rules and regulations set by the government of India for minorities.”

A Parliamentary Committee recently asked J-K government to examine a demand for granting minority status to Kashmiri Pandits in view of their “pitiable condition” after they were forced to leave the Valley due to militancy.

Sikhs in the state will be forced to surrender their residency rights as a mark of protest if any “violation” is carried out in the Act, Raina said.

“APSCC will oppose every step taken to please any group with inclusion as a minority community, merely for vote-bank politics,” he said.

Despite repeated pleas and requests from APSCC, the state government has not implemented the National Minorities Act in Jammu and Kashmir, he said, adding that, “Delay in the implementation of the Act in the state seems intriguing.”

APSCC strongly condemns the state government’s proposal of introducing its own Minority Act, he said. “There is no need for a State Minority Act since some of the Central Acts like Haj Committee Act, 1959, The Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923, and MGNREGA already stand implemented in (Jammu and Kashmir),” he said.

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