February 24, 2014 | By Mir Iqbal
Kashmir, Srinagar (February 24, 2014): All Parties Sikh Coordination Committee (APSCC) has threatened of dire consequences if the state government dilutes the Minority Act in the state.
The Committee has also objected to the aversions made by Parliamentary Standing Committee about the minorities in Jammu and Kashmir.
Jagmohan Singh Raina, Chairman APSCC in a press statement here said,”We are against any dilution or amendment in the National Commission for the Minorities Act. Parliamentary Committee and there after Parliamentary Standing Committee recommendations regarding Minority Act are biased and cannot be accepted to existing minorities declared by Government of India in the country.”
Raina said the approach of leaders belonging to different political parties towards the people of Kashmir has always been controversial. He said these leaders get influenced by wrong information given to them by people or agencies having vested interests.
“Such information has always harmed the policies towards Kashmir and even today the approach and recommendation to the state government is against the real minority. We will oppose tooth and nail recommendations that violate existing rules and regulations set by the Government of India for minorities,” said Raina.
The APSCC Chairman said that Sikhs in Jammu and Kashmir will be forced to surrender their state subjects as a mark of protest if any violation is carried out to National commission for Minority Act 1992. He said the Committee would oppose every step taken to please any group for their inclusion as a minority community done merely for vote bank politics.
“The National Conference-Congress coalition government should ratify the National Commission for Minority Act in the state assembly to restore the faith of minorities in the state. Delaying the implementation of act in the state seems intriguing and silence of state government is not liked by Sikh leadership in the state,” said Raina.
Raina said that despite repeated pleas and requests from APSCC the state government has not implemented the National Minorities Act in Jammu and Kashmir. He said that Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh and President Pranab Mukherjee have asked the state government to get the National Minorities Act implemented in the state.
“Chairman, National Commission for Minorities, Wajahat Habibullah wrote to Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah and former law minister, Ali Mohammad Sagar to implement the Act in the state. The National Commission for Minorities has already identified Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and Buddhists as minorities in the country. As a result of this classification Sikhs are a minority in Jammu & Kashmir and need to be given the status of minority in the state,” said APSCC Chairman.
Raina said the delay in granting minority status to Sikhs in the state has led to the alienation of Sikhs from the system and they no more believe the state government. He said state government is just the implementing agency of National Minorities Act in the state with the scheme being primarily a national scheme. He added that all the costs on account of this scheme have to be borne by the central government and there is no financial liability on the state government.
“APSCC feels and believes that more than enough time has been given to the Jammu & Kashmir government for implementing the National Minorities Act in the state. We strongly condemn the state government’s proposal of introducing its own Minority Act. There is no need for State Minority Act since some of the Central Acts like Haj Committee Act, 1959, The Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923 and MGNREGA already stand implemented in the state,” said Raina.
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