Coalition partners befooling SC/STs, fail to amend SRO 294: Main Altaf

By News Agency of Kashmir

Jammu : Accusing the coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir of misdeed and mischief a senior National Conference (NC) leader Mian Altaf Ahmad today expressed dismay over breach of trust and commitment which the State Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad had given to Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Casts (ST/SCs) for brining amendment in SRO 294 in Budget Session 2008 which concluded without fulfillment of pledge.

He said the ST/SC communities feels cheated as the government has adopted a deliberate attitude to sabotage the constitutional safeguards available to the tribal and marginal groups in the state by issuing of SRO 294 way back in 2005.

“What prompted this government to replace SRO 126 with SRO 294 reducing reservation to SC/ST in state government departments?” Mian Altaf said while interacting with a group of journalists at Jammu today.

“The coalition partners are befooling SC and STs that the SRO 294 has been rolled back,” said Mian adding that “keeping in mind difficulties of SC/ST and OBC’s the National Conference government had issued SRO 126 but the Congress and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP)-the coalition partners passed a resolution withdrawing SRO 126 and issuing SRO 294.”

He said that both Scheduled Caste (SC) an Scheduled Tribes (ST) have suffered a lot during the last 60. He urged the Governor seeking his personal intervention into the demands and immediate scrapping of controversial SRO 294, implementation of Mandal Commission Report in Jammu and Kashmir, reservation in private sector, and stopping of alleged atrocities on Gujjars and Dalits in the State.

He said that reservation for SCs and STs should be according to population proportion at State, district and divisional level.

Speaking about the miseries of Gujjars Mian Altaf said that the Centre has provided us Tribal Status way back in 1991 but the present coalition is making all efforts to grab our legitimate rights by issuing different SROs from time to time,” he accused. ”It was a political aggression against Gujjars, the third largest community of the State after Kashmiri’s and Dogras,” he said adding that there appears to be a well thought out conspiracy against not only the Gujjars and Bakerwals but all the ST/SC Communities.

Alleging that the state government deliberately delayed the introduction of amendment bill of reservation act under SRO 294, Mian said and added that Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad had assured the introduction of the bill in the house but despite his intervention, it is unfortunate that no green light was given by the state government.

”We demanded restoration of backlog in recruitments and promotions, enhancement of reservation in promotions for SCs from four per cent to eight per cent and in case of STs, it should exceed from five per cent to ten per cent,” he said. Issuance of caste-based certificates in case of OBCs along with the maintenance of the based seniority was among other demands of the both ST and SCs, Mian Altaf added.