Members of Sikh community stage protest

Demand amendment to SRO-425

MUDASIR YAQOOB
Srinagar, Publish Date: Nov 12 2018 11:56PM | Updated Date: Nov 12 2018 11:56PM
Members of Sikh community stage protestPhoto: Mubashir Khan/GK

Members of Sikh community here on Monday staged protest at Pratap Park here, demanding amendment in  SRO-425.

The protestors said that SRO-425 only extends benefits to Kashmiri Pandits. “While Sikhs also being the minority in Kashmir have been ignored,” said the protestors who had assembled under the banner of ‘Kashmiri Sikh Community’.

They said by virtue of SRO-425, issued by the state government on October 10, 2017, the amendment has been effected to the Kashmir Migrants (Special Drive) Recruitment Rules of 2009, thus extending the benefits to a person who belongs to a Kashmiri Pandit family and has not migrated from Kashmir after November 1989 and is residing in Kashmir.

“Subsequently, the government wide an order number 96 of 13 November 2017, had also constituted a committee for giving benefits of the employment package to the Pandit youth under SRO-425,” said Santpal Singh, president Gurduwara Prabandhak committee Budgam.

He added that as per the rules, ‘migrants’ were defined as those who migrated from Kashmir after 1 November 1989— when law and order problem started in Kashmir while ‘internally displaced persons’ were defined as those who had to migrate within the Kashmir due to security reasons.

“The benefit under Rule of 2009, as they originally were, was available to all migrants as defined, irrespective of cast, creed or religion. However, the benefit in terms of SRO-425 has been restricted to the members of a particular community who have not migrated from Kashmir,” he said.

He added that the controversial SRO offends Article 14 and 16 of the constitution and the fundamental right of equality of unemployed educated youth of the Sikh community who had not left the Kashmir after 1989.

Inderjeet Singh, president Gurduwara Prabandhak committee Anantnag  said that “we demand amendment in the SRO-425.” “We want Sikh community must be included for the benefits of this SRO. We are minority in Kashmir and deserve equal rights with others,” he added.

Novtej Singh, secretary Gurduwara Prabandhak Committee Srinagar said Sikh minority community must also reap the job benefits announced by New Delhi.

Dr Ravi Singh senior member Gurduwara Prabandhak committee Pulwama said the erstwhile PDP-BJP government headed “manipulated” the job package order to benefit a particular community rather than all minorities who suffered from past thirty years due to situation in Kashmir. The Sikh community threatened to continue with their protests if the order was not revoked at the earliest.

 

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