Home Minister Amit Shah promised reservations for Gujjar, Pahari and Bakarwal communities in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday. He said that his promise was based on recommendations from the Justice Sharma Commission which has been examining the issue of quota. 

Standing in Rajouri district which borders Pakistan’s Kotli district, Shah made the announcement shortly after he offered prayers at the Vaishno Devi temple in the area. 

“The Justice Sharma Commission has recommended and it includes Paharis, Bakerwal and Gujjars 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.

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Shah’s comments are based on the findings of the J&K Commission on Socially and Educationally Backward Classes headed by Justice GD Sharma (retired). A Tribune report says that the commission recommended that the Pahari community be given Scheduled Tribe status but that it will likely intensify their conflict with the Gujjar community. The Pahari community has been demanding ST status for the past 40 years. On the other hand, Gujjar’s fear the dilution of a quota they have had access to for the last 30 years, according to Moneycontrol. 

“I want to appeal to you to free Jammu and Kashmir from the clutches of these three families and to make hands of Modi strong for betterment and welfare of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said, referring to the families that lead the Congress, National Conference and People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

During the rally, Shah said that minority communities and Dalits would not have gotten reservation rights if Article 370 had not been abrogated in 2019.

In addition, the Union Home Minister hit out at those who criticised the abrogation of 370, saying, ”
In today’s rally, you can hear slogans praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
This is the answer to those who used to say that if Article 370 is
removed, there would be fire in Jammu and Kashmir, rivers of blood would