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Reserve two seats for Sikhs in J&K Assembly: Sukhbir Badal

PUNJAB NEWS LINE | July 26, 2023 05:23 PM

CHANDIGARH: Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Badal on Wednesday said the minority Sikh community of Jammu and Kashmir should not be discriminated against and that two seats should be reserved for community members in the assembly along with two seats proposed for Kashmiri Pandits.

In a statement here, the SAD president said he had received representations from the Sikh community as well as the Movement for Justice for Refugees of 1947 from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

"The SAD is of the firm opinion that one seat should be reserved for Sikhs residing in Jammu and Kashmir regions respectively, while additional seats should be reserved for those who were forced to relocate to J&K in 1947, including Sikhs."

Stating that ignoring the Sikh minority community of Jammu and Kashmir while reserving seats for other communities would be a great injustice to the community, Badal said: "The population of Sikhs in Jammu and Kashmir is same as that of Kashmiri Pandits and they have also suffered great hardships since 1947. Moreover the Sikh community has fought for preserving the unity and integrity of the country by rising up against the proxy Pakistan invasion of 1947 besides suffering the loss of 200 lives, including 36 lost in the one single massacre at Chittisingh Pura."

Asserting that the Sikh community had stayed put in Jammu and Kashmir while others migrated, Badal said "a community which fought atrocities and kept the nationalist spirit alive in the trouble-torn state should not be given step-motherly treatment".

He also noted that nearly all three lakh Sikhs settled in Jammu alone were 'displaced persons' of 1947 from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and they should be given appropriate representation in the assembly as per their population.

He said these displaced persons who had fought the Pakistan-sponsored tribal raiders besides facing massacres and sacrificed thousands of lives in the last seven decades should not be ignored.


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