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Amit Shah announces reservation benefits for Gujjars, Bakerwals, Paharis in J&K

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Liberate J&K from the rule of three families and support the vision of PM Modi, HM tells people

Rajouri: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday announced that the Gujjar, Bakerwal and Pahari communities in Jammu and Kashmir will get reservation benefits in accordance with the recommendations of the Justice Sharma Commission which examined the issue of quota.

He said this while addressing a rally organised in this town, situated at the foothills of the Pir Panjal mountain range along the Indo-Pak border.

Shah also said there will be no decline in ST quota of Gujjars and Bakerwals and Paharis and everyone will get their share.

He said the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019 has paved the way for providing reservation benefits to the deprived sections of the society in Jammu and Kashmir.

“The Justice Sharma Commission has recommended that Paharis, Bakerwal and Gujjars should be included for ST quota benefits. These recommendations have been received and soon after completion of legal procedure, Gujjars, Bakerwals and Paharis will get the reservation benefits,” he said.

The home minister said some people have tried to instigate the Gujjars and Bakerwals in the name of ST status being given to Paharis but the people have foiled their design.

Coming down heavily on the Opposition in Jammu and Kashmir, Shah said earlier just three political families used to rule the erstwhile state, but now power is with 30,000 people who were elected to panchayats and district councils through fair elections.  He called upon the people to liberate Jammu and Kashmir from the rule of three families and support the vision of Prime Minister Modi.

Referring to the possibility of holding Assembly elections, he said a delimitation exercise was carried out before holding the Assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Delimitation was necessary before polls as earlier delimitation was not as per norms. Now, the delimitation has been done as per norms and there is increase in seats in hilly areas like Rajouri, Poonch, Doda, Kishtwar,” he said.

Shah said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised elections after abrogation of Article 370 on August 05, 2019.

Modi had held local body polls and handed over the power to the 30,000 elected representatives of local bodies, he said.

“Earlier power was with three families, 87 MLAs, 6 MPs. With abrogation of Article 35-A and 370, all downtrodden societies including Paharis in Jammu and Kashmir are getting or going to get their rights,” he said.

The home minister said tribal reservation has become possible in Jammu and Kashmir only after abrogation of Article 35-A and 370.

He alleged that those who ruled Jammu and Kashmir for 70 years “wanted to keep Paharis crushed and pushed their voice. Now it is the turn of Paharis to get their rights in Jammu and Kashmir”.

Shah said the development of Jammu and Kashmir is Modi’s priority.

“Earlier, all money sent by the Centre for development was usurped by a few, but now everything is spent on people’s welfare,” he said.

“I want to appeal to you to free Jammu and Kashmir from the clutches of these three families and to make the hands of Modi strong for betterment and welfare of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

Shah did not take names of the three families.

He also said security situation in Jammu and Kashmir is far better now than earlier due to the strong action taken against terrorists by the Modi government.

“As a result, the death toll of security forces has come down from 1,200 every year to 136 this year,” he said.

Shah said there were 4,766 terror incidents from 2006-2013 in Jammu and Kashmir during the Congress rule but the number has come down to 721 in 2019-22.

“Today’s rally is a befitting reply to those who used to say that there would be bloodbath if Article 370 is abrogated,” he said.

The home minister said “Modi snatched stones from the hands of stone pelters in Kashmir and handed them laptops and jobs” and this has resulted in an end to stone pelting.

“The decline in number of deaths of security forces shows that Jammu and Kashmir is in safe hands now,” he said, adding the Modi government has started strong drive against terrorism, stone pelters and Hurriyat Conference

He also appreciated the Union territory administration’s decision to announce a holiday on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Maharaja Hari Singh, the erstwhile ruler of Jammu and Kashmir, who signed the Instrument of Accession.

Shah also praised the people living in Rajouri  and Poonch who are “standing like rocks for the security of India” and the entire country salutes them.

“Paharis, Gujjars and Bakerwals always stood for their country whenever there was risk on India. Mountains of Rajouri and Poonch are guardians of LoC of India,” he said.

42K people lost to terrorism in J&K; security forces in full control of situation now: Amit Shah

Says from independence till 2019, investments worth just Rs 19,000 crore had come to J&K; after 2019, Rs 56,000-crore worth investment has come

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday said 42,000 people lost their lives to terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir over the years but security situation has improved now to such an extent that no one dares to call a ‘hartal’ or indulge in stone-pelting.

Shah also said the Modi government wants to end terrorism, corruption, bring all-round development and make Jammu and Kashmir number one in the country.

A zero tolerance policy has been adopted towards terrorism, ensuring complete control of the security forces over the situation, he said, while inaugurating or laying foundation stones of development projects here.

He said, “42,000 people lost their lives due to terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. Those who support terrorism sitting in the government were identified and action has been taken.”

Those who used to call ‘hartal’ or pelt stones on security forces were curbed totally and now no one has courage to give any such call, he said.

“Do you know why there is not a single stone-pelting incident in Kashmir now? Because stone-pelters were sitting in the government at that time,” he said

He also said there has not been a single encounter now as terrorists were given an opportunity to surrender.

Shah said terror incidents have come down by 56 percent, casualties among security forces by 84 percent. Recruitment as terror cadres has also come down, he said.

He said there has been big changes ever since Article 370 and Article 35-A were abrogated on August 05, 2019.

The home minister said that from independence till 2019, investments worth just Rs 19,000 crore had come to Jammu and Kashmir. But after 2019, Rs 56,000-crore worth investment has come to Jammu and Kashmir, he said.

He said as many as 27 lakh people of Jammu and Kashmir are now getting health insurance benefits of up to Rs 5 lakh while 58 percent people getting piped water in their homes.

Those eligible are also getting STs quota benefits, he said.

Those who wanted to indulge in corruption continued to do so for 75 years which stopped in 2019.

He also referred to the Rs 80,000 crore development projects announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi a few years ago saying the projects are progressing well while some have already been fully implemented.

The package consists of 63 projects concerning 15 ministries and has an outlay of Rs 80,068 crore.

Shah pays obeisance at Vaishno Devi shrine on Maha Navami

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday visited the famous Mata Vaishno Devi shrine atop Trikuta hills in Reasi district on Maha Navami festival and offered his prayers.

Accompanied by Lt Governor Manoj Sinha and Union Minister Jitendra Singh, the Home Minister arrived at Sanjichat by helicopter to pay his obeisance at the shrine on the concluding day of the nine-day Navratra celebrations, officials said.

Before visiting the shrine, Shah in a tweet greeted the people of the country on Maha Navami festival.

“Wishing everyone a very happy Mahanavami. May maa Bhagwati shower her grace and blessings on everyone. Jai Mata Di!” the home minister tweeted in Hindi.

The officials said stringent security arrangements have been made at the shrine in view of the home minister’s visit.

He was received by senior officers of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) including its Chief Executive Officer Anshul Garg and prominent people and religious leaders, the officials said.

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