June 2016 News

Sajad Lone Wants 'Kashmir Muslims Merge Into Mainstream India'

23 June 2016
Kashmir Life

Srinagar: Rejecting demand of right wing BJP Lawmakers that Hindus be declared 'minorities in J&K', Minister for Social Welfare Sajjad Lone Thursday said that 'such a thing will add fire'. 'There is a need to merge Muslims of Kashmir into national mainstream of India as they have suffered immensely due to violence,' he told Upper House of J&K Legislature. 'Your demands will add fire,' Lone said replying to demand of BJP legislators to declare 'Hindus as minority in Jammu and Kashmir'. 'Muslims of Kashmir need incentives and healing touch as they have suffered a lot due to violence over the years,' Lone told BJP MLCs in the Upper House. He, however, said declaring minorities is the dominion of the Union government. 'Jammu has a Hindu majority and Kashmir has a Muslim majority. By this logic, we cannot declare minorities at block levels, we have to follow the national criteria,' he said. The Minister was responding to a clubbed query of MLCs Vibodh Gupta, Dhrambir Singh and Charanjeet Singh whether the state government 'intends to set up a minority commission', the minister said there is no such proposal. He informed the Legislative Council that no community has been declared as Minority by the state. The Minister detailed community-wise percentage of declared national minorities in the state is as: Muslim 68.31%, Sikh 1.87%, Christian 0.28%, Buddhist 0.90% and Jain 0.02%. Despite response form their ally, BJP legislators who stood up from their seats demanding that Hindus be declared as minorities in J&K. Sajad Lone is a Minister in PDP-BJP coalition from BJP quota. He heads his faction of Peoples Conference. 'Even chief minister Mehbooba Mufti has said that J&K has Article 370 that accords special status to J&K, so the state government can amend or create any law itself and has authority to create the minority commission as well,' Gupta said. BJP MLC Chiranjeet Singh said even ruling PDP in its election manifesto had announced that they would give Sikhs minority status but till now the government is silent on the issue. Another BJP MLC, Surinder Amardar said after migration of Kashmiri Pandits, now Sikhs living in Kashmir are migrating. 'There is need to address the issue of the minorities in the state.' While intervening during the Question Hour, the National Conference legislator Qaiser Jhamshed Lone said since the BJP has taken over control at the Union level, the minorities are fleeing from India.