With the winter session of parliament all set to start, Pahari’s hopeful of getting ST status; We have full faith in the Home Minister: Paharis
POONCH TODAY NEWS
POONCH/RAJOURI: Again, ahead of the winter session of parliament, people from the Pahari ethnic tribe are hopeful of getting the much-awaited ST status, as the same was reached in the Lok Sabha, but due to unknown reasons, the bill did not see the light of day during the monsoon session.
It is important to mention that this issue remained in the media spotlight in the twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri. Home Minister Amit Shah, during his previous visit to Rajouri, also announced that Paharis would get their status soon, but even after several months, the issue has not been solved yet. BJP J&K UT chief Ravinder Raina has time and again said, “Kadaka nikle ga,” but Paharis have not seen anything positive yet. Political observers believe the BJP has gotten such a big response on the issue of ST status for the Pahari ethnic tribe in the twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri. Paharis, who have been fighting for their genuine demand for ST status for three decades now, hope that the assurance given by Home Minister of India Amit Shah will be fulfilled soon. Ravinder Raina earlier said that PM Modi gave everything to the Gujjar community, including the Forest Rights Act, the ban on inter-district recruitment, and political reservation, among other things. Now it’s time for the government to give ST status to Paharis, he said. The Pahari ethnic tribe always stood for maintaining a decade’s old brotherhood and communal harmony, and they also thwarted the designs of Pakistan-sponsored militancy. A Pahari leader, wishing anonymity, told “POONCH TODAY” that Paharis were at S.No. 1 when the J&K government recommended ST status for Paharis more than three decades ago, but under a well-planned conspiracy against the Paharis, the then union government failed to grant ST status to Paharis. Despite that stepmotherly treatment, Paharis never indulged in any sort of wrong practices but continued their struggle in a most genuine way”. In reality, Gujjars and Paharis have the same culture and living conditions, and they have been living together for centuries, but few political leaders tried to create a wedge between them for political reasons. On the other hand, the BJP has gained much in Poonch and Rajouri districts over the issue of ST status for Paharis, and it would be interesting to see how the BJP manages to maintain this posting until elections are held. Paharis are highly hopeful to get ST status soon, as the winter session of the parliament is all set to start. Will the BJP-led NDA government grant ST status to the Pahari ethnic tribe or not? It’s the most burning question that is debated everywhere in Poonch and Rajouri. Political observers believe that if the BJP-led government grants ST status to Paharis, then the BJP will be in a position to perform well in the Rajouri-Anantnag seat. Some prominent Pahari leaders, when contacted for their comments, said, “We have full faith in the Home Minister as he is a man of words.”