Dogra Issue: J-K Govt To Write To MHA; Ask For Inclusion Of All10 April 2011
The Indian Express
Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir government will soon write to the Centre to modify its order providing relaxation to certain groups in recruitment in paramilitary forces by including all residents of the state instead of ethnic communities. The state government will write to the Home Ministry to modify its January 11 order which provided relaxation in recruitment rules for ethnic communities like Dogras, Marathas, people residing in hilly areas and Ladakh region of the state, highly placed sources said on Sunday. The J-K Government decision to write to the Home Ministry on the issue comes close on the heels of a controversy surrounding the issuance of Dogra certificates to members of the community, mostly hailing from Jammu region. The move by the government may take the steam out of the strike call by hardline Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani who has announced a shutdown on Monday demanding revocation of the state government order to issue Dogra certificates. Geelani has alleged that it was an attempt to divide the state along communal lines and the order had the potential to harm the geographical unity of the state as well. 'Since almost all the residents of Jammu and Kashmir can avail the relaxation as provided under the provided norms, the state government feels that by inserting word 'Jammu and Kashmir' instead of the ethnicity will do away with the apprehensions expressed by certain quarters in the Valley,' the sources said. Three state ministers had addressed a joint press conference on Friday seeking to clarify that the Dogra certificates will be issued only for the purpose of availing the relaxation in height and chest parameters during recruitment in paramilitary forces. Public Health Engineering Minister Taj Mohiuddin said similar relaxations were available to people living in Kashmir and Ladakh, as these fall in 'Hilly Areas' category. He said the Dogra certificate will not be issued to members of the community from other parts of the state and clarified that it cannot form the basis for issuance permanent resident certificate given to residents of Jammu and Kashmir only. The state cabinet will also be meeting shortly to discuss the issue.