Srinagar, 10 Feb: In a resounding show of appreciation, prominent Pahari leaders gathered in Delhi today to express profound gratitude to BJP National General Secretary Tarun Chugh for facilitating a significant meeting, where they conveyed their heartfelt thanks to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the monumental granting of Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to Paharis.
The leaders lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his visionary initiative, as the Constitution (Jammu and Kashmir) Scheduled Tribes Order (Amendment) Bill, 2024 was successfully passed in the Lok Sabha.
This historic legislation aims to empower the Pahari Ethnic Group, Padari Tribes, Koli, and Gadda Brahmin communities by bestowing upon them the coveted Scheduled Tribe status, thereby fulfilling a longstanding demand in Jammu and Kashmir. Leaders present hailed this achievement as a watershed moment for the entire tribe, expressing utmost satisfaction with the BJP Government for fulfilling this enduring demand.
Speaking to news agency representatives, Ehsan Mirza, a senior leader of the Pahari ST Tribe Forum, underscored the arduous three-decade-long struggle and reiterated that previous governments failed to adequately address this demand. Mirza highlighted the BJP government's unwavering commitment to inclusive development and welfare, stating that "Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas" is not merely a slogan but a guiding principle.
Tarun Chugh underscored that these Bills will restore the rights of people belonging to the Pahari and other communities newly added to the SC and ST lists. He also highlighted the elevation of the status of Gujjar and Bakerwal communities under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi.
Chugh further urged political parties to refrain from politicizing the issue and instead focus on collective efforts for societal betterment. The leaders in attendance included Adv Ahsan Mirza, Adv Aftab Ganai, Adv Gurdev Singh Thakur, Bharat Bhushan Vaid, Adv Sanjeev Kumar Sharma, Nadeem Ahmed Mir, and Shafait Yaseen Shah, all executive members of the Pahari Tribe ST Forum Jammu and Kashmir.