Recognize Hindus as a minority in J&K

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Recognize Hindus as a minority in J&K: Forum
Jammu (India) December 18, 2009
Report & image by Raman Raina

o mark the United Nations Minorities Rights Day and to seek justice for various religious minorities in the State, a seminar on the political, legal and social status of the rights of minorities in J&K was organised by J&K Minority Rights Forum here today.

The speakers dwelt in detail about the discriminations and deprivations suffered by the religious minorities in the State, i.e. Hindus including Kashmiri Pandits, Sikhs, Buddhists and the Christians.

They said the Sikhs, Buddhists and Christians being already declared minorities at the national level under the National Commission for Minorities Act 1992 have been deprived of their benefits as the same was not applicable to J&K. The Hindus in the State being a reverse minority too suffer and are at a disadvantageous position, they added.

They demanded that the state must fulfill its commitment and set up a State Minority Commission to safeguard and protect the rights of the minorities. The Conference demanded adequate representation in the State Legislature, Judiciary, Executive etc. It also demanded reservation of seats for the minorities in various sectors where they can’t otherwise gain access in a normal process due to their inadequate numbers. Moreover the Buddhists, Sikhs and Christians be also declared minorities in the state. Besides the Hindus of J&K Including Kashmiri Pandits who have been declared a reverse minority by the United Nations too be recognized as a minority in the State as per the recommendations of National Commission of Minorities.

Those who presented their papers in the seminar included Dr K N Pandita, S Suchwant Singh, S S Anand Lehar, Tashi Rabstan and Warris Gill.

The seminar was presided over by Dr K N Pandita while Bishop Peter Celestine was the chief guest and Togdon Rimpochy, president All Gumpha Association, the guest of honour.

The vote of thanks was proposed by M L Koul while Prof G K Muju read the welcome address.

Later a resolution was passed in support of the demands of the Forum. Those who participated in the discussion included P K Joseph Dhar, Ramesh Arora, B L Saraf, M L Munshi and H N Tickoo.
Raman Raina is Shehjar's Chief Photo Journalist based in Jammi, India.
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