Omar Abdullah welcomes ST status to Paharis, says should not affect Gujjars/Bakerwals

National |  IANS  | Published :

Jammu, Feb 7 (IANS) Former J&K chief minister and vice president of the National Conference (NC) Omar Abdullah said on Wednesday that his party welcomed the grant of ST status to Paharis, but this should not affect the reservation rights of Gujjars and Bakarwals.

Speaking to the media here, Omar said, “I was not allowed to go to Sunderbani (Rajouri) where my party men had worked hard to organise a public meeting today.

“Police locked the doors of my home and I was told that because of the law and order situation I cannot go to Sunderbani.

“It was the habit of the police in the Valley to lock homes and then deny any such thing, but now the same is done by the police in Jammu.

“Even to go to my party headquarters, I had to seek the permission of the concerned SDPO”.

Omar said that democracy in the country ends where J&K starts. “They claim that everything is normal and then they enforce restrictions on people”, Omar alleged.

He said his party welcomes the grant of ST status to Paharis, but this should not affect the rights of Gujjars and Bakarwals.

“The government is silent on this issue. Even the bill passed in Parliament does not mention how it would be implemented," he said.

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