Jammu: West Pakistani refugees (excluding Scheduled Castes), Gorkhas, Jat community, Markabans, Ponywalas and Christians (converted from Hindu Valmikis) will now get reservation benefits in Jammu and Kashmir under the category of “Socially and Educationally Backward Classes.”
These classes are among fifteen new ‘social castes’, the Union Territory (UT) administration has added to its list of “Weak and under-privileged classes” by amending Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Rules, 2005.
Besides this addition, the government has also directed for replacing the expression “Pahari speaking people” with “Pahari Ethnic people” as a part of an amendment to the rules.
Five Social Castes already part of enlisted “Socially and Educationally Backward Classes” under the existing rules also have been rechristened in the amended Rules.
“In exercise of the powers conferred by the first proviso to clause (o) of Section 2 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2004, and on the recommendations of the Jammu and Kashmir Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Commission, the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir hereby directs that these amendments shall be made in Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Rules 2005,” read a government notification issued by J&K Social Welfare Department.
In the existing list of 27 “Weak and under-privileged classes” under the Rules, other new social castes, which have been added through the amendment, include Waghey (Chopan); Ghirath/Bhati/Chang community; Saini community; Sochi community; Sunar or Swarankar; Teeli (Hindu Teeli along with already existing Muslim Teli); Perna or Kouro (Kaurav); Bojru/ Decount/ Dubdabay (Brahmin) and Gorkans and Acharyas.
With these new entries, the list under amended Rules now includes 42 social castes, eligible for reservation benefits.
As per the notification, for the words “Pahari Speaking people (PSP)” or “Pahari Speaking People” wherever appearing, the words “Pahari Ethnic people” will be substituted in the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Rules, 2005.
Regarding the renaming of existing social castes already availing reservation benefits in “Annexure-D” to the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Rules, 2005 under the Act, for the “words “Potters (Kumahars)” appearing at Serial no 4; “Shoe repairers (working without the aid of machines)” appearing at Serial no 6; “Bangies Khakrobes (Sweepers)” appearing at Serial no 7, “Barbers” appearing at Serial no 8, “Washerman” appearing at Serial no 9 and “Dooms” appearing at Serial no 15, the words “Kumahars”, “Mochi”, “Bangies Khakrobes”, “Hajjam/Nai”, “Dhobi” and “Dooms (excluding SCs)” shall be respectively substituted.”
Annexure ‘D’ of J&K Reservation Rules, 2005 pertains to “Weak and underprivileged classes” (Social Caste).
This includes social castes namely Bahach Hanjie and Shikara Wallas excluding houseboat owners; Fishermen including Gada Hanz; Markabans whose sole livelihood depends on Markabani; Potters (Kumahars); Shaksaz; shoe repairers (working without the aid of machines); Bangies Khakrobes (Sweepers); Barbers; washermen; Bhands; Mirasis; Madari/Bazigars; Kulfaqir; Dambali Faqir; Dooms; Shupri Wattal; Sansis; Sikligars; Jheewars; Grati (Rural only); Teeli; Lohars; Tarkhans; Gilkar (Mason) and Labana community.
Under the Rules, Gharati “shall mean a Gharati who runs a “Gharat on water” and shall not include the grinding machine running on electricity.”
Rules provide for 2 percent reservation for Weak and Under Privileged Classes (Social Castes) under “Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (other than Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes).”