A sikh organisation in Jammu and Kashmir today demanded minority status for the community, claiming that they have been weakened economically, politically and socially due to indifferent attitude of the Centre and the state government.
"We demand minority status for the Sikhs as Jammu and Kashmir remained the only state in the country which had not given minority status to them even after the enactment of an Act which provided minority status to the community," Coordinator of the All Parties Sikh Co-ordination Committee (APSCC) Jagmohan Singh Raina said here. "Both State and Centre governments are responsible for weakening the Sikhs economically, politically and socially in the state," he alleged.
He said this had deprived the Sikh community, comprising 5.38 per cent of the state's population, of the benefits as no state or Central scheme could be extended in the absence of the minority status.
The National Commission for Minority Act of 1992 declared the Sikh community as minority, but this had not been extended to Jammu and Kashmir, unlike other states in the country, he said.
Raina alleged that during the recent Assembly elections, the Sikhs felt "let down".
"They were given a raw deal despite the fact that they have been always in the forefront making sacrifices and been instrumental in improving the lives of people, both socially and economically," he added.