Srinagar: A delegation of All Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee Kashmir today called on Union Home Minister Amit Shah and presented him a memorandum demanding resolution of their demands.
The delegation was led by S Baldev Singh Ji Raina, chairman, All Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee Kashmir.
The home minister gave a patient hearing to the delegates and the meeting lasted for about 90 minutes, Pervender Singh Chopra, spokesman ASGMC Kashmir, in a statement here said.
The delegates apprised the home minister of the long “pending demands” of the Kashmiri Sikhs and “he assured that every genuine demand of the Sikhs living in Kashmir will be put on table and shall be worked upon soon,” the statement said.
The delegation presented to the home minister a detailed memorandum, the statement said.
According to the statement, the memorandum stated that “keeping in view the rising forced religious conversion of minority community in the valley, inter caste marriage act as applicable in UP and MP to prohibit and punish religious conversions promising better lifestyle, divine blessings and impersonation should be implemented in letter and spirit in the Valley (sic).”
“Sikhs of the Kashmir valley should be declared as minority community, Sikh Minority Commission should be appointed with the immediate effect, whose chairman should be from Sikh community,” it stated.
“We are only 1.5 lacs left with 60 thousand registered voters from Sikh community which is spread to 6 districts and 135 villages. It is important to note we are managing 135 Gurudwaras some of which are historical,” it stated.
“As delimitation process is happening and we used to have two reserved legislative seats in Poonch and Baramulla respectively. Now Poonch is part of Jammu division of J&K (UT). We request Union Government to kindly reserve two assembly seats, Baramulla and Srinagar/Tral for Kashmiri Sikhs in the house. The delimitation commission with the Chairperson Justice (retd) Ranjana Prakash Desai is visiting Jammu & Kashmir from July 6 to 9, Sikh Community expect that the commission should meet with the representatives of the Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee as their representative as stakeholder to listen (to) their concerns/suggestions in the task of delimitation,” it stated.
“To bring new changes and accelerate present system, a Sikh advisor to the LG who knows all the concerns of the Sikhs should be appointed with immediate effect,” the memorandum, according to the statement, stated.
“Job reservation should be done for valley Sikhs on urgent basis to stop their migrations. Kindly consider the appointment of the micro minorities living in Kashmir for the posts still vacant under PM relief package for migrants of which more than 50% seats are still vacant,” the delegation demanded.
“It is important to mention that about 35,000 Sikhs were martyred in Choora near Baramulla on National Highway. That place should be demarcated and a national monument should be built on that place,” it stated, adding that the government should make it compulsory to introduce Punjabi language in the study so that Sikhs history cannot be diluted.
The delegation comprised of S Baldev Singh Raina, chairman, ASGMC Kashmir; S. Santpal Singh, President, DGPC Budgam; Dr. Tara Singh, President, DGPC Baramulla; Dr. Ravi Singh, President, DGPC Pulwama; S. Jaspal Singh, Chairman, DGPC Srinagar; S. Inderjeet Singh, President, DGPC Anantnag; S. Metha Singh, Joint Secretary, DGPC Pulwama; S. Tejpal Singh, General Secretary, DGPC Baramulla; S. Baldev Singh Sodhi, (Secretary), Youth Wing Baramulla; S. Pervender Singh Chopra, member, DGPC Budgam; S Hardeep Singh, Joint Secretary, Youth Wing Baramulla; S Tara Singh, member, DGPC Srinagar; S Manmeet Singh, President, USF.
The delegation, meanwhile, thanked the union home minister for taking out his precious time and giving them an opportunity to express their views. “His assurance has infused a sense of confidence that our long pending demands will be met at the earliest,” the statement said.