New Delhi, Feb 10: Prominent Pahari leaders from Jammu and Kashmir today met BJP National General Secretary Tarun Chugh in New Delhi and conveyed their heartfelt thanks to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi for granting the Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to their community.
According to a press release, the leaders lauded Prime Minister 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,” the press release added.
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. He 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.
“The political parties must refrain from politicising the issue and instead focus on collective efforts for the betterment of society,”he said. The leaders who met Chugh 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. Dr Shehnaz Ganai, former MLC was also part of the delegation.