The Dogra certificate issue, which was being used by vested interests in Jammu and Kashmir to vitiate the communal atmosphere, ended today with the Union home ministry amending its earlier order and announcing relaxation to all permanent residents of the state.
The home ministry came out with the amended order this evening in which it said that now the relaxation for recruitment in Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) was open to all permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir.
In its January order, the MHA had announced relaxation for residents from Kashmir region and Leh and Ladakh regions under the geographical criteria while extended the same relaxation for the Dogra people under the ethnic tribe community.
Taking a cue from this order, a state minister Raman Bhalla had directed the tehsildars and deputy commissioners of Jammu to issue "Dogra certificates", a move which prompted angry reaction from separatists and some political parties alleging this was a clear attempt to divide the state on communal lines.
However, chief minister Omar Abdullah had asked the Centre to amend its order and extend the relaxation to the people from Jammu and Kashmir rather than putting them under different categories of geographical terrains and ethnic categories.
"Government desires to recruit more persons to the CAPFs from Jammu and Kashmir. Hence, there is a case for relaxing the eligibility conditions for all sections of the people in Jammu and Kashmir including the Jammu region. Henceforth, the said relaxation will be available to all Permanent Residents of Jammu and Kashmir," a home ministry spokesperson said in a written statement.
The level of recruitment has been stepped up in the last two years and is likely to continue at this level for a few more years. In 2009, CAPFs recruited 1109 constables in Jammu and Kashmir and in 2010, the figure stood at 2309 constables.
As a result of the proposed amendment, all sections of the people in the entire state will be benefited and Jammu and Kashmir will be at par with states like Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura as far as relaxed eligibility conditions are concerned.
Government hopes the relaxation of eligibility conditions for all candidates in Jammu and Kashmir will be welcomed by all sections of the people of that state, the spokesperson said.
Highly-placed sources of the state government said the order issued by Bhalla is to be rescinded.