Kashmiri Sikhs seek 10 per cent quota in jobs, legislature

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New Delhi, Feb 6 (UNI) The Khalsa Democratic Front, a Sikh organisation from Jammu and Kashmir, has sought ten per cent reservation in state government jobs for members of the community and warned of " mass migration" if denied benefits.

The Front also demanded minority status for the Sikhs in Jammu and Kashmir besides adequate representation in the state legislature.

A high-level delegation of the Khalsa Democratic Front, led by chairman Teja Singh, met Union Water Resources Minister Saifuddin Soz, Union Minister of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit to present their list of demands.

In a press release here, the organisation said agriculture and government jobs have been the main sources of livelihood of Sikhs in the Kashmir valley.

''Despite violence, the Sikhs did not leave the Valley and made valuable contribution to the development of Jammu and Kashmir,'' it added.

The Front said the Sikhs have no representation in the state's political set-up, which otherwise had good representation from other communities.

''Our number in government services is dwindling every year.

Unless some percentage of reservation is fixed, the Sikhs will have no representation in the government jobs. We demand ten per cent job quota be reserved for Sikhs.'' It also demanded special recruitment drive for Sikhs in police and central government organisations as well.

Besides seeking introduction of the Punjabi language in schools, the Front also demanded benefits under SRO-43.

''If the Sikhs are not given the benefits like those given to displaced Kashmiri Pandits, we may think of mass migration from the Valley to other parts of the country,'' it added.

UNI AG-SMA LS RN1656

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