Iftkhar Ahmed, All-India election commissioner, NSUI and IYC, has demanded scheduled tribe (ST) status for more than 20 lakh people speaking Pahari language in Jammu and Kashmir.
He said these people have been struggling for the past 40 years to get the ST status. The state assembly had also passed a resolution in this regard, which was forwarded to the central government for its approval.
He also urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and MP Rahul Gandhi to fulfill the long-pending demand of the Pahari community.
Interacting with mediapersons, Ahmed said, "Soon, a deputation of the Pahari community will meet Rahul Gandhi, who is the future leader of the country, and request him to meet their demand.
The Youth Congress leader also appealed to the Gujjar and Bakerwal communities, who share the same culture as the Pahari community and have been enjoying the ST status, to support the genuine demand of the Pahari community. He also assured them that their quota would not be disturbed if Paharis get the ST status.
Meanwhile, Shakil Raina, district president of NSUI, said despite declaration of teachers' list around eight months ago, the government had delayed their joining, which was causing a great loss to the students.
He demanded immediate action by the government in this regard while Asfaq Mirza, general secretary, YCI, has shown concern over the deteriorating condition of roads and long scheduled and unscheduled power cuts in the district.