Kashmir’s Sikh delegation meets Union home minister, ask him to address concerns on priority to stop large-scale migration of Sikhs from valley | India News – Times of India

AMBALA: A delegation of Kashmir’s Sikhs under the banner of All Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (ASGMC) (Kashmir) met the Union home minister Amit Shah at his residence in Delhi while demanding their concerns be addressed on priority to stop the large-scale migration of Sikhs from Kashmir valley.
Kashmir’s Sikhs held a meeting with Amit Shah under the leadership of ASGMC (Kashmir) chairman Baldev Singh Raina and submitted a four-page document of demands raising concerns of the valley’s micro minority community.
In their demand letter addressed to Union home minister Amit Shah, a copy of which is with TOI, the Kashmir’s Sikhs said that the Sikhs from Kashmir valley welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s decision to abrogate Article 370 with a full heart and maintained it as a success story written by the government.
Union home minister Amit Shah tweeted and posted a photo of a meeting with Kashmiri Sikhs, in which he said, “Met a delegation from All Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee-Kashmir.”
Baldev Singh Raina was accompanied by representatives of Gurdwara Parbandhak Committees from Budgam, Baramulla, Pulwama, Srinagar, Anantnag, and Kashmir.
About the meeting with Amit Shah, Baldev Singh Rana said, “We have held about 90 minutes of meeting with Amit Shah Ji, who has assured the delegation of Kashmiri Sikhs to address all the issues and concerns raised by us. Shah Ji has also assured to set up a minority commission along with reserving two seats for Sikhs in the valley. Also, Shah Ji said that soon he would be visiting Kashmir to sit with the Sikh community and talk with them.”
“A dawn has begun-a terror-free and corruption Free State which you promised has already started”, reads the letter.
They said the Sikhs of the valley with heritage have been forgotten by all successive central and state governments.
“…time has come for the rights of Kashmiri Sikhs who are a non-migrant micro minority in the valley”, said the Sikhs of the valley.
They said they have lost about 35,000 Sikhs in the 1947 fight when “Pakistan Kabali attacked India.”
Kashmiri Sikhs made nine points demands before the Union home minister to be addressed on priority.
In the first demands, the valley Sikhs have demanded anti forcible religious conversion laws as applicable in Madhya Pradesh (MP) and Uttar Pradesh (UP), “to prohibit and punish religious conversions promising better lifestyle, divine blessings and impersonation be implemented in the valley”, to stop the rising forced religious conversion of minority (Sikh) community.
The second demand is for declaring the Sikhs of the Kashmir valley as a minority community, “whose chairman should be from the Sikh community. We are only 1.5 Lakhs left with 60,000 registered voters from Sikh community which is spread to 6 districts and 135 villages.” They said they manage about 135 gurdwaras in the valley, some of which are historical.
In view of the delimitation process taking place in Kashmir, the valley Sikhs thirdly demanded reservations for two seats i.e. Baramulla and Srinagar/Tral for Kashmiri Sikhs in the assembly house.
“We used to enjoy two seats in Poonch and Baramulla. Now Poonch has gone to Jammu. We requested Union Govt. to kindly reserve two Assembly seats Baramulla and Srinagar/Tral for Kashmiri Sikhs in the House”, reads the demand letter. They said they have maximum villages in these two districts and want to bring changes in their democratic strength.
In view of the visit of Delimitation Commission chairperson Justice (retired) Ranjana Prakash Desai, who is visiting Jammu and Kashmir from July 6 to 9, the Sikhs of the valley expected that the commission should meet with their representatives to listen to their concerns/suggestions in the task of delimitation.
In their fourth demand, Kashmiri Sikhs demanded to appoint with immediate effect a Sikh advisor to the J&K Lieutenant Governor, who knows each and everything about Sikhs.
Fifthly they demanded that Awantipura airport be declared as “Baba Guru Nanak Dev Airport”, as it is very close to Mattan Sahib Gurudwara, where the first Sikh Guru had come in 1516 AD and stayed for almost 12 days and enlightened Kashmiri Pandit Brahm Dass Ji.
“Gurdwara Mattan Sahib should be declared as National Heritage and international flights should land at Awantipura for darshan (glimpse) of this gurdwara. The road between the airport and Gurudwara Mattan Sahib should be made a dedicated corridor through which Sikhs can come and develop markets, hotels. This area will become a major tourist hub as we expect major international tourist arrival on a daily basis who will definitely want to visit other places in valley and Jammu”, said the Kashmiri Sikhs in their fifth demand.
In the sixth demand, the valley Sikhs have demanded “job reservation on an urgent basis to stop their migration. In the last many years, no govt. in the state has given them jobs and due to which they are gradually shifting to other parts of the country and world.”
In the seventh demand, the valley Sikhs demanded arrangement of special recruitment drive from Central/State forces for valley Sikhs and formation of a local regiment on the lines of JAKLI (J&K Light Infantry) for the Sikhs of Valley JK Sikh Light Infantry. “We know in and out of the valley and will make a significant change in the fight against terror in Kashmir”, said the valley Sikhs. Along with this, they also demanded the appointment of Sikhs for the posts still vacant under the Prime Minister Relief package for migrants, “of which more than 50% seats are still vacant.”
“We lost 35,000 Sikhs in Choora near Baramulla on National Highway. That place should be demarcated and National Monument should be built in that place”, is the eighth demand of Kashmiri Sikhs.
In the last and ninth demand, the valley Sikhs said that the government should make it compulsory to introduce the Punjabi language in the study so that Sikhs history cannot be diluted.
They said that “It has become impossible for us to stay in such an environment here and we request you to kindly make things possible for our stay in the valley.”
They said the Sikhs from Kashmir welcome the CAA Citizenship (Amendment) Act and that they will be happy if the Sikhs/Hindu community coming to India from any part of the world and stay with them in the valley.

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