Sikh body blames successive Govts’ of ‘betrayal’

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Srinagar : Accusing successive government of betraying Sikh community by not granting them minority status in the state, All Party Sikh Coordination Committee (APSCC) today said that it will not campaign for any political party during the bypolls in Anantnag and Srinagar Parliamentary constituencies next month.

Meanwhile, the Sikh group also warned of a state wide agitation, including in Jammu, in the coming days if their demand was not fulfilled immediately.

Lashing out at Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over the issue, APSCC chairman Jagmohan Singh Raina said the ruling party won several seats in the valley due to the support of Sikhs, who were promised that minority status will be given to the community.         

“Sikhs in the state have been demanding for granting of minority status, but this demand is yet to be fulfilled. In its election manifesto for 2014 Assembly elections, PDP had promised that they would give minority status to Sikhs in the state if elected to power,” he said.

 However, Mr Raina said that PDP forgot this promised and despite being in power for the last couple of years, the party alongwith its coaliation partner BJP has taken no step to grant the minority status to the Sikhs in J&K. “The extension of National Commission For Minority Act to the state as promised by PDP has not been done so far much to the disappointment of the Sikh community,” he added.

He said on the contrary, the state government has filed an objection granting of minority status to Sikhs in Supreme Court (SC) very recently. “This action of the government suggests that the people at the helm pursue different agenda while being in power and when in the opposition. PDP has virtually backtracked from its pre-poll promise of 2014,” he added.

Mr Raina further said that in past National Conference (NC) and Congress ditched the Sikh community by not accepting the demands of the community.       
      “As on date there is no difference between mainstream parties like PDP, BJP, NC and Congress when it comes to the Sikh community and the problems faced by the community members,” he added.

 Mr Raina chairman said unlike the past, the APSCC does not want the members of the Sikh community to vote for a particular party or candidate during the bypolls. Sikhs are free to vote for anyone and in case they deem it fit not to vote, APSCC would not force them to change their decision, he added.

He said denial of due rights to the minorities has already led to devastation in Haryana and same can’t be ruled out in J&K.  “With appreciable number of Sikhs living in Jammu region, one can’t rule of an agitation by the members of the minority community in that region of the state,” he added.

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