Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Minister for Social Welfare Sajjad Gani Lone today said Muslims of Kashmir should be “merged” into the mainstream of the country and provided a “healing touch” as they had “suffered immensely” in the last 20 years.
Muslims of the Valley needed to be merged into the national mainstream. They should be given incentives and healing touch as they suffered a lot in the last 20 years, Lone said in the Legislative Council.
The minister was replying to questions on setting up a minority commission in the state.
Lone said “there was no need to establish such a commission in the state as declaring minorities is in the domain of the Centre”.
Rejecting BJP legislator Vibodh Gupta’s demand to declare Hindus as minority in the state, the minister said minorities can be declared only on the basis of national criteria.
We cannot declare minorities at block levels, we have to follow national criteria, the separatist-turned-politician said, adding “your demands will add (to) fire (in the state)”.
It is a human rights violation with Hindus that despite being in the minority, they are not getting benefits which minorities throughout the country get. You are not declaring 30 per cent population as minority, it is injustice, Gupta alleged.
Speaking on the issue, BJP MLC Charanjeet Singh said even ruling PDP in its election manifesto has announced they would give Sikh community a “minority status” but till now the government is “silent” on the issue.
Another BJP MLC, Surinder Amaradar, claimed that after migration of Kashmiri Pandits, now Sikhs living in Kashmir are moving out.
There is a need to address the issue of the minorities in the state, he said.
Opposition National Conference legislator Qaiser Jamshed Lone alleged that since the BJP-led NDA government came to power at the Centre, the minorities have been fleeing the country.