Gujjars, Bakerwals, Paharis in J&K To Get Quota Benefits: Amit Shah

"The Justice Sharma Commission has recommended that Paharis, Bakerwal and Gujjars should be included for ST quota benefits," the Union home minister said, addressing a rally in Rajouri.

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 the ST quota of Gujjars and Bakerwals and Paharis and everyone will get their share.

He said the dilution 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.

There have been reports of protests by the Gujjars and Bakerwals in Jammu and Shopian in Kashmir recently against the move to grant ST status to the Paharis.

The Gujjars and Bakerwals constitute 40% of the population in the border districts of Rajouri and Poonch.

Paharis also live in the same area but they are numerically small.

The Gujjars and Bakerwals are the third largest ethnic group in Jammu and Kashmir after Kashmiris and Dogras.

Since April 1991, they have enjoyed the benefits of a 10% quota for STs in jobs and educational institutions.

The Paharis are also seeking the same benefits, which was opposed by the Gujjar and Bakarwals.

Since January 2020, the Paharis have been getting 4% quota in jobs and educational institutions in Jammu and Kashmir following a change of rules by the Union Territory administration.

This was also opposed by the Gujjars and Bakerwals, saying they get benefits under other categories such as OBC, and EWS.