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LS passes two Bills to modify lists of SCs, STs in J&K

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STATE TIMES NEWS

NEW DELHI: The Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed two Bills to modify the lists of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in Jammu and Kashmir to include among others the Pahari Ethnic Group in the list of STs in the Union Territory.
Both the Bills will now be sent to the Rajya Sabha. The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2024, adds Valmiki community as a synonym of Chura, Balmiki, Bhangi, and Mehtar communities in the list of Scheduled Castes in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Bill seeks to amend the Constitution (Jammu and Kashmir) Scheduled Castes Order of 1956, which lists the castes deemed to be Scheduled Castes in the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Historic day for J&K: LG

JAMMU: Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha on Tuesday termed as “historic” the passing of Constitution (Jammu and Kashmir) Scheduled Tribes Order (Amendment) Bill, 2024 in Lok Sabha to grant Scheduled Tribe status to Paharis, Padari Tribes, Koli & Gadda Brahmin.
“A historic day for Jammu and Kashmir. Lok Sabha has cleared the Constitution (Jammu and Kashmir) Scheduled Tribes Order (Amendment) Bill, 2024 to grant scheduled tribe status to Paharis, Padari Tribes, Koli and Gadda Brahmin, fulfilling the long pending demand of these communities,” the Lt Governor said in a statement.
He said under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the government has ensured inclusion of these communities in the Scheduled Tribes list, and it will have no impact on the current level of reservations available to Gujjars, Bakarwals and other tribes. They will continue to get reservations like before, Sinha said.
“After the bill is cleared in the Rajya Sabha, the UT administration will issue necessary notifications ensuring that the people included in the existing list of Scheduled Tribes continue to get the same level of reservation,” he said
Sinha also appealed to people and community elders to counter any “misinformation being spread” by miscreants on the level of reservation to the communities.
“I reiterate that the inclusion of new communities in the list of Scheduled Tribes will not impact the current level of reservations available to the existing Scheduled Tribe communities such as Gujjars and Bakarwals,” Sinha said.

Replying to a debate on the Bill, Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Virendra Kumar said there is equality in Jammu and Kashmir after the scrapping of Article 370 of the Constitution, which accorded special status to the erstwhile state.
The minister said earlier dispensations only used Scheduled Caste people as their vote-bank.
He also clarified that his government was not closing pre-matric and post-matric scholarships for SC students.
The Lok Sabha also passed the Constitution (Jammu and Kashmir) Scheduled Tribes Order (Amendment) Bill, 2024, which seeks to add four communities — Gadda Brahmin, Koli, Paddari Tribe, and Pahari Ethnic Group — to the list of Scheduled Tribes in Jammu and Kashmir.
Responding to a debate on the Bill, Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda said that with the scrapping of Article 370, the BJP government has sent out a message that India is one, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari.
On the demand of an opposition member for the inclusion of Ladakh in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution, he said that the BJP is concerned about the people of the Union territory.
The Bill seeks to amend the Constitution (Jammu and Kashmir) Scheduled Tribes Order of 1989 to create separate lists for Scheduled Tribes for the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

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