Pahari community disappointed after income slab in issuance of reservation certificates

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The Pahari community in Kashmir Valley has expressed its resentment over the decision of setting 8 lakh rupees income slab for issuing of reservation certificates.

Last week, the social welfare department J-K clarified that the income slab of 8 lakh rupees as provided in Proviso Second of clause (o) of section 2 of the Reservation Act, 2004 is applicable to Pahari Speaking People (PSP) which sent shock waves among the community.

Many members of the community said backward class commission has categorized Pahari as the tribe of J-K, and if PSP is tribal category then how come income ceiling of 8 lakh which is applicable to economically weaker section and backward classes.

Dr. Jahangir Danish, a congress leader from north Kashmir’s Karnah tehsil, said that the decision taken by the government is a joke for the Pahari community. “Earlier we have been demanding the status of ST but later we were given PSP and we welcomed it. Now the setting of income slab for the community is a wrong decision,” he said.

He said, “We appeal to the government for revocation of income slab system otherwise we will protest against this decision”.

Javid Mirchal, a leader of Apni party from Karnah said recently a delegation of their party met J-K Lieutenant Governor (LG) in Kupwara. “He assured that within three months the government will revoke the income slab on Pahari tribe,” he said.

Dr Sajjad Shafi, vice president JKNC North Zone said there is no benefit of 4 per cent of a reservation which has been given to the Pahari community as the government has set up income slab for it.

“I urge the government of India and J&K UT administration to reconsider this genuine issue and roll back income slab on PSP and issue the order where there should not be any income slab for people belonging to the Pahari tribe like ST and SC,” he said.

Naveed Bukhtiyar, a lawyer and activist said but this reservation should be in par with ST and SC category. “Otherwise this reservation will not serve any purpose. Moreover, how can Rs 8 lakh income cap decides who is Pahari or not,” he said.

“If ST category people and Pahari speaking people enjoy the same social and economic status then why the Paharis have been excluded from this category,” he added. (GNS)

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